The English Football League has issued an apology to a Hull City fan who was threatened with ejection if he carried on texting.
Daniel Mawer was involved in an encounter with an ‘undercover security guard’ during the Tigers’ 2-1 win over Reading on Saturday.
Mawer claimed he was told that he would be ejected from the KCOM stadium if he continued to text.
It is believed the fan was spoken to as part of a crackdown on unauthorised data gathering at EFL matches.
Hull City are now liaising with both Mawer, the club’s own security company Superstadium Management and Comsec.
An EFL spokesman said: “The Comsec scout spotting programme is managed by Football Data Co in collaboration with the league and its clubs.
“Access is provided at matches for Comsec representatives to operate and identify potential infringements.
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“On initial review of this particular incident all procedures and protocols were followed, but clearly there is still some work to be done to ensure these checks are conducted appropriately and sensitively.
“It’s never the intention to offend and for that Football Data Co and the League offer its apologies to the supporter affected by this random spot check.”
In a viral Twitter thread, the Tigers supporter explained what took place in the encounter that left him ‘on edge’.
He tweeted: “Today, at half time I was told by an ‘undercover security guard’ that if I continued to text about the football match at the KCOM stadium I’d be ejected from the ground.
Today, at half time I was told by an ‘under cover security guard’ that if I continued to text about the football match at the KCOM stadium I’d be ejected from the ground.
— Daniel Mawer (@skintnortherner) August 10, 2019
“At half time a man in casual gear followed by a steward, came up to me and said ‘tell me what this says’ holding a badge up that said security. I said (spoiler alert) ‘…security?’
“He then explained he’d been watching me text throughout the first half, he asked what I’d been texting (in a not so friendly manner).
“I felt on edge telling a stranger what I’ve been texting, felt a bit invasive, and I felt uncomfortable saying I’d been innocently texting opinions on the match and my thoughts on what was happening to friends and family.
“My Dad explained we text friends the score. The man said if we continued to do so we’d be ejected from the ground.
“When we asked why, he said there’s trouble with people notifying betting companies/or gamblers of events at a match so they could cash out/make a bet void.
“So basically he was assuming I was some sort of gamblers informant at the KC Stadium (when I was just texting my girlfriend dumb stuff about Tom Eaves’s hair).”
His Tweets caught the eye of Match of the Day pundit Gary Lineker, who responded by saying: “This is nuts.”
The Football Supporters’ Association were among those to tweet support to Mawer.