England to play match behind closed doors due to Euro 2020 final violence

Three Lions will play Nations League game next June without fans present after Uefa hand out punishment for disorder at Wembley Stadium

England will have to play their next home Uefa competition match behind closed doors as punishment for the disorder surrounding the Euro 2020 final at Wembley last summer.

The showpiece game between England and Italy on July 11 was marred by chaotic and ugly scenes before, during and after it, with some ticketless supporters forcing their way through security cordons and gaining entry to the stadium.

Tournament organisers Uefa opened disciplinary proceedings against the Football Association on August 3 and issued sanctions on Monday.

In addition to the one-match ban on supporters, a further one-game ban is suspended for a period of two years, UEFA said.

England’s next Uefa competition match will be in the Nations League next June. The English Football Association has also been fined €100,000 (around $116,000).

Uefa also said in a statement that the fine was also a result of “lack of order and discipline inside and around the stadium, for the invasion of the field of play, for throwing of objects and for the disturbances during the national anthems”.

The Metropolitan Police reported on July 14 that there had been 51 arrests connected to the final — 26 of those were arrested while policing events in Wembley, with 25 arrests following events in central London. Nineteen officers were injured during the course of the policing operation.

Wembley security cordons were breached by ticketless individuals, and disability access charity Level Playing Field said some of these individuals made their way into disabled viewing areas, creating a “frightening experience” for disabled supporters with legitimate tickets.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors said in her statement on July 14 that officers at Wembley observed early in the day a large number of individuals without tickets.

The Wembley disorder has been held up by the UK’s football policing lead, Chief Constable Mark Roberts of Cheshire Police, as an example of why rules around alcohol at football matches should not be relaxed.

Conservative MP Tracey Crouch is set to recommend a pilot in League Two and the National League allowing fans to drink in the stands or in their seat as part of her fan-led review.

Her recommendations are expected to be published this week.

Updated: October 18th 2021, 4:44 PM
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