The English Football League has apologised to a supporter who was told to stop texting during the Championship match between Hull City and Reading at the KCOM stadium.
Following the conclusion of the match, Hull fan Daniel Mawer tweeted: “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.”
The fan continued to explain he was approached by a security guard as part of ‘spot checks’ on supporters, requested by the EFL, to monitor the collection and distribution of official data that could be used to give information to people betting on live events at sporting events.
Mawer said he explained to the security guard that he was simply texting updates on the match to friends and family but ‘felt on edge for the rest of the game’.
On the incident at the KCOM stadium, 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.
"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."
Match of the Day presenter Gary Linaker saw the tweet and responded to it by saying, ‘this is nuts’.
Hull City also issued a statement, adding: “We are currently liaising with a supporter who encountered a spot check from Comsec with regards to unauthorised data gathering at Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Reading at the KCOM stadium.
“Comsec are hired by Football Data Co to monitor the collection and distribution of Official Data. On request from the EFL the Club accredited Comsec to do spot checks at yesterday’s match.
“We are currently working with the Superstadium Management Company, Comsec and the EFL to understand how this check was handled, and to understand how we can improve the Comsec Data Scouts Enforcement Programme at our stadium, and ultimately therefore the supporter experience moving forward.”
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