Police are planning for nights of European football at Leicester City’s King Power stadium next season. The Foxes’ miraculous performances in the Premier League have put them on the brink of passage to the elite Champions’ League or, if the dream does not quite come off, the Europa League. Senior officers at Leicestershire Police have been discussing the implications for them should City’s end-of-season league position in May send them into European competition for the first time in 15 years. Officers visited two matches in London last week as guests of the Metropolitan police. The matches, Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday and Spurs’ 3-0 demolition of Fiorentina in the Europa League two nights later gave officers an insight into modern European match policing.
They are also speaking to the UK Football Policing Unit, which advises forces whose teams enter European competition. The force is weighing up the implications of policing extra mid-week games, welcoming fans from across the continent and, eventually, the need to liaise with colleagues overseas to share information on the hooligan element. City’s potential entry to Europe will have implications for the 21 fans who are currently subject to court-imposed football banning orders. They will be required to surrender their passports prior to City matches on the continent to prevent them from travelling. Similar measures are in place for overseas England games. A capacity King Power Stadium would make up to 1,600 seats available to visiting fans in a European tie.