By Keith Hackett

27th Jun, 2022 | 6:22pm

Ex-Fifa official issues emphatic Man City claim as three-year ban confirmed

Keith Hackett has praised the decision to hand a Man City fan a three-year football ban for throwing a flare onto the pitch during the 3-2 win over Aston Villa at the end of the 2021-22 Premier League season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee insisted more needs to be done to stop the rise of flares and a three-year ban after this incident is a step in the right direction.

BBC News reported last week (24 June) that Phillip Maxwell, 29, threw the object after City’s equaliser was scored and he has also been slapped with a fine.

Pep Guardiola’s side went on to score a third to avoid a scare and win a fourth Premier League title in five years.

“We saw the growing worry of pitch invasions, and by that I mean objects thrown,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“We saw the flares, Richarlison picked one up and threw it. Now we’ve got one spectator being identified clearly to have thrown it and has received a three-year ban.

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“It was growing and I still think next season we are going to have this problem with flares.

“I know it’s difficult to ban it but just put a line of defence up to begin with to say ‘We, as a competition, are banning this’.

“I think the three-year ban sends the right message, for sure.”

Man City will begin the defence of their Premier League title with a trip to West Ham on 7 August.

They then face Bournemouth, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest before the end of the month.

In other news, Man City could be forced to sell Raheem Sterling to Chelsea after a BBC update