Euro 2020 final disorder: Ticketless thugs ‘could have caused death’ at England v Italy game

A review of the disorder reads: “Thugs without tickets, drunk and drugged” may have caused death when they stormed Wembley before the Euro 2020 final.

Baroness Louise Casey’s report said there was a “collective failure” in planning for the match, which involved nearly 2,000 people illegally.

He observed 17 mass breaches of disabled gates and emergency fire doors.

Ms Casey said the “horrific spectacle of chaos” as England played Italy led to a “day of national disgrace”.

Its report said there had been a “collective failure” of planning for the match on July 11, including a “poor” and inexperienced oversight process partly due to the pandemic and the arrival of a police deployment “too late”.

The knowledge that about 25,000 of Wembley’s 90,000 seats will remain empty due to Covid restrictions, has contributed to a “perfect storm” of factors.

“Our team of role models were in our first major final for 55 years. Yet they were let down by a mob of ticketless thugs, drunk and drugged, who chose to offend the innocent, the vulnerable and the disabled, as well as police officers, volunteers and Wembley staff,” she said. Mrs. Casey.

“We are really fortunate that there have not been many serious injuries or worse and we need to take the hardest action possible against people who think the football match is somehow an excuse to act like this.

“I am clear that the primary responsibility for what went wrong at Wembley that day lies with those who have lost control of their behaviour.”

Italy beat England on penalties to become European champions.

The Disruption of the Day review also found that:

  • England’s penalty shootout victory would have created a “significant public safety hazard” as up to 6,000 people plan to storm the stadium full time to celebrate with the gates open to allow ticket holders to leave.
  • There was a “collective failure” among the organizations that organized the final to plan for the “expected risk” of chaos and fans without tickets on the field.
  • Alcohol and drugs were a major factor in the commotion as fans arrived at the stadium eight hours before kick-off at 20:00 BST.
  • Planning for the final has been hampered by the additional pressure being placed on the authorities by managing the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic and by the loss of experienced hosts.

What does the review recommend?

In the introduction to her report, Lady Casey says: “One of the saddest parts of this process is hearing the testimony of the FA staff.

“While they didn’t want the England team to lose that night, that was their concern about what might happen if England win, they ended up feeling great about the result.

“In the end, penalties went Italy’s way, it rained, and the crowd scattered pretty quietly. But we shouldn’t lose sight of how close the alternative was. And they never had to feel that way anyway.”

Lady Casey concluded that “the law-abiding fans, our national team and our national game deserve the best” and that the events of July 11 “cannot be allowed to happen again”.

She said the absence of fan areas near the stadium was a “very important factor” in getting the situation out of control, and that the ban on drinking on London transport had not been enforced strictly enough.

The national euphoria and focus on the final made crowd gathering and chaos “expected” and “there was a collective failure to plan for the worst-case scenario”.

Ms Casey wrote: “Finally, my biggest challenge is the culture that has led some individuals back in the day at Wembley, and in the following days on social media, to choose to behave in this way.

“What makes people think it’s okay in some way to break into the stadium or misuse the broken entrances just because it’s a big game or because there are spare seats inside?

“Why in the name of heaven would black footballers be expected to keep playing for their country amid racist abuse from their fellow countrymen?”

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka racist abuse On social media after the match.

Ms. Casey recommends a series of general changes to help prevent recurrence:

  • Enabling the authorities to act more forcefully against fans who use drugs, flashlights and smoke bombs in matches and around stadiums and enter stadiums without a ticket.
  • The FA’s campaign to force a “fundamental change in attitudes towards supportive behaviours”.
  • Better communication between the match officials and the flow of fans into the stadium.
  • A new category of ‘national importance’ football matches to educate organizers of the unique challenges of such major events.

The Metropolitan Police said there were 51 arrests linked to the final, 26 of whom were made at Wembley. In all, there were 90 football-related arrests of England fans at Euro 2020.

England ordered to play One match behind closed doors UEFA has been fined 100,000 euros (£84,560) by UEFA as punishment for the unrest.

UK Sports has denied England’s possible bid to host the 2030 World Cup It has been irreparably damaged by this disorder.

What was the reaction?

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham He said that “no event has been organized to deal with such disgraceful behavior from thousands of ticketless fans”, but apologized “for the horrific experience so many experienced inside Wembley on what should have been a historic night”.

“We fully accept the report’s findings, and there is important information for us, as well as for other agencies involved,” he added. Collectively we must not allow this to happen again.”

Julian Knight MP, Chair of the Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, He said: “Obviously we narrowly avoided a large-scale catastrophe at Wembley. This day of national disgrace saw the behavior of drunk and drugged thugs putting the lives of true football fans in grave danger.

“The collective failure to plan for permissible safety violations on such a scale is a grave accusation given that the danger was foreseeable.

“We must see the measures the football authorities take before we bid for any major tournaments. DCMS will not monitor what is said today but what is done in the coming weeks and months.”

Brent Council statement He said: “We welcome Baroness Casey’s detailed and balanced report. This is not about a blame game, it is about learning lessons to ensure that the traumatic scenes for Euro Sunday do not repeat. We will work closely with partners, including the FA and Metropolitan Police to move forward with the recommendations.”

“This was suspicious… it was scary.”

BBC sports reporter Natalie Birx

I’ve been in hundreds of matches at Wembley during my two decades as a sports broadcaster. This was scary… It was scary. It felt like nothing I had experienced before.

I would always say in the past that I would take my kids to the England games, but I was so glad they weren’t there that day.

It was very clear that since about ten in the morning there were no police around. There were fans who were already drunk and worse, and there was no one around. The report stated that the police did not start arriving there until about noon, and at that time there were already a lot of fans on the ground.

From 1pm onwards, since it was 8pm, you knew what that would entail in terms of drinking all day – but it was much worse. Flashlights go off, street drugs do, lampposts bow, fights.

When you travel abroad with England, you see some English fans who respect the culture a lot, enjoy being with England and respect the country in general. The fans you saw that day are not necessarily England fans.

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