It’s no secret that football clubs sometimes go the extra mile to intimidate visiting opponents.
Specialized coaching teams and sports science experts are now common at any top European club, their sole purpose being to give their side any advantage.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t deter clubs from dipping into an old bag of tricks to gain that extra edge.
Cramped dressing rooms to frightening tunnels, we’ve seen clubs try them at all.
Away fans aren’t safe either, and it’s common to see a club flaunt their dominance via large banners, just to discourage the away support.
While these methods are tried and tested, fans of Ipswich Town had to face an entirely different adversary during their trip to AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane stadium.
Photos that emerged during the League 1 fixture show the stewards dressed in peculiar attire, to say the least.
Going by the image, they wore an all back attire and even rounded it off with balaclavas.
At first glance, it’s difficult to associate the individual with a steward at a football fixture, simply due to how shady the outfit looks.
Fans, in general, were reasonably irked and took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.
Why are your stewards in the away end concealing their faces with balaclavas @AFCWimbledon ? In the event of a complaint or an altercation how are @metpoliceuk going to identify the individual steward? To me this looks like your stewards attempting to be intimidating. @SIAonline https://t.co/SE5AVhQ8DE— Paul Tells It Like It Is. (@TellsLike) January 26, 2022
This is pretty insane for football stewarding https://t.co/YkhCeMI7di— Gabriel Heidler (@GJHeidler) January 26, 2022
Drafted the SAS in for Ipswich. Bit much https://t.co/TxHmFGST56— Charlie Oliver (@Charlieo798) January 26, 2022
The absolute opposite of a welcoming matchday experience. https://t.co/rGpraCTGOE— Jonny Ex 🏴 🇬🇷 (@jonny_ex9) January 26, 2022
Fortunately, as per the responses by fans online, there seemed to be no malice behind the choice of attire.
Users online stated that the personnel were friendly and professional, despite multiple stewards donning balaclavas.
The issue has now been brought to the attention of the club, and changes will probably follow.