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England fans threw poo and took cocaine as damning investigation reveals details of Euro 2020 final shame

4:01 PM GMT+4 03/12/2021
England fans Euro 2020 final Wembley
A report into the incidents which marred the showpiece at Wembley claims lives were endangered by reckless actions

A 129-page report into the events which cast a shadow over the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley on July 11 claims lives were endangered by “the appalling behaviour” of those who forced entry, threw faeces and took cocaine.

Some 2,000 ticketless supporters charged disabled access points, with stewards punched and kicked as “collective failure” from event organisers led to unsightly scenes marring what should have been a joyous occasion.

Louise Casey, an experienced government official, has led the investigation into what went on during an evening in which England suffered penalty shootout heartache, with her findings making for uncomfortable reading.

What has been said?

Casey’s report states: “The behaviour of a large minority of England supporters was not just disgraceful, it recklessly endangered lives.

“The appalling behaviour of supporters should be a wake-up call for us all. For too long, the actions of a minority of England fans have been tolerated as a part of our national culture (albeit an embarrassing one), rather than confronted head-on.

“A minority of England supporters turned what should have been a day of national pride into a day of shame.”

What happened at Wembley?

Around 100,000 supporters gathered at Wembley to soak up the atmosphere of a first major final appearance for England since 1966, but coronavirus-enforced capacity caps meant only 67,000 people could enter the arena.

Baroness Casey believes a “sea-change in attitudes” by fans is now required, with the Football Association called upon to lead that campaign.

She added: “The threats, aggression, violence, smoke and flare use, throwing of missiles - including faeces - excessive consumption of alcohol and cocaine all combined to fuel a febrile atmosphere.

“A loss of experienced stewards as a result of the pandemic left Wembley’s stewarding operation vulnerable when confronted with the most aggressive and disorderly crowd Wembley had ever seen.

“The FA and Wembley, working with others, should step up action on eradicating such behaviours from football, refusing to allow entry to fans who arrive chanting foul abuse and/or are clearly under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

“The existing enforcement mechanisms available to the police and other enforcement officers do not offer enough deterrent against those determined to use the cover of football matches to commit criminal offences.”

Casey added: “I am clear that we were close to fatalities and/or life-changing injuries for some, potentially many, in attendance.

“That this should happen anywhere in Britain is a cause for concern. That it should happen at our national stadium and on the day of our biggest game of football for 55 years is a source of national shame”.

The bigger picture

In response to the report, FA CEO Mark Bullingham has said: “We fully accept its findings and there are important learnings for us, as well as other agencies involved.

“The FA apologises for the terrible experience that many suffered within Wembley on what should have been a historic night for the game.”

England have already been sanctioned as a result of the crowd trouble at Euro 2020, with Gareth Southgate’s side having to play their next UEFA competition fixture – which will be a Nations League contest in June 2022 – behind closed doors, while also being hit with a fine.

It now remains to be seen whether there will be further repercussions, with questions being asked of whether irreparable damage has been done to a joint UK and Ireland bid for 2030 World Cup hosting rights.

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