Children used as 'mules' to smuggle flares into Premier League matches

Research has found that children as young as eight years old are being used to smuggle flares into Premier League matches.

A report has emerged claiming that children as young as eight years old are being used as 'mules' to smuggle flares into football grounds in the top flight.

A survey, which was commissioned by the Premier League, of 1,635 supporters has revealed that more than half of fans have witnessed pyrotechnics at a match.

A third of supporters admitted that they had been directly affected by pyrotechnics, while 86% of them are concerned for their safety.

"It's the biggest concern we've got among fans at the moment," head of supporter services at the Premier League Cathy Long told BBC Sport.

"There have been incidents across the world where people have had bad injuries or died.

"We've been lucky that our leagues haven't had such major issues yet, but we want to stop that from happening."

Use or possession of such objects, including flares, can result in a ban or a prison term.

A general view during the game between the New York Giants and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 29, 2013
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