thugs without a ticket “could have caused death” during the England-Italy match – .

thugs without a ticket “could have caused death” during the England-Italy match – .

“Ticketless, drunk and drugged thugs” could have caused death as they stormed Wembley ahead of the Euro 2020 final, according to a review of the mess.

Baroness Louise Casey’s report said there had been a “collective failure” in the planning of the game, to which around 2,000 people registered illegally.

He identified 17 massive breaches of access barriers for disabled people and emergency fire doors.

Lady Casey said the “appalling scene of disorder” as England played Italy led to a “day of national shame”.

His report said there had been a “collective failure” in the planning of the July 11 game, including a “vulnerable” stewarding operation lacking experience in part due to the pandemic and the police deployment. arrived “too late”.

Knowing that around 25,000 of Wembley’s 90,000 seats would be left empty due to Covid restrictions has contributed to a ‘perfect storm’ of factors.

“Our team of models competed in our first Grand Final in 55 years. However, she was abandoned by a horde of ticketless, drunk and drugged thugs who chose to abuse innocent, vulnerable and disabled people, as well as police, volunteers and Wembley staff, ”Lady Casey said.

“We’re really lucky that there hasn’t been a much more serious or worse injury, and we have to take the toughest action possible against people who think a football game is somehow a game. excuse to behave like that.

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

Italy beat England on penalties become European champions.

The examination of the disease that day also revealed that:

  • A victory for England in the shooting would have created “another huge public safety risk” with up to 6,000 people planning to storm the stadium full time to celebrate the opening of the gates to allow ticket holders to leave.
  • There was “a collective failure” among the organizations that staged the final to anticipate the “foreseeable risk” of disorder and ticketless fans converging on the stadium.
  • Alcohol and drugs were a key factor in the mess, as fans arrived at the stadium until eight hours before the 8:00 p.m. BST kick-off.
  • Planning for the final was hampered by additional pressure on authorities to manage restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic and the loss of experienced stewards.

What does the journal recommend?

In the foreword to her report, Lady Casey says: “One of the saddest parts of this process was hearing the testimony of FA personnel.

“Although they didn’t want the England team to lose that night, as their worry was as to what might happen if England won, they ended up feeling immense relief in the face of to the result.

“In the end, the shots on goal were on Italy’s side, the rain fell and the crowd dispersed largely silently. But we must not lose sight of how close the alternative was. And they never should have felt that way anyway. ”

Lady Casey concluded that “law-abiding supporters, our national team and our national football deserve better” and that the events of July 11 “cannot happen again”.

She said the lack of fan zones near the stadium was “potentially a very important factor” in the situation spiraling out of control, and the London transport ban on drinking was not being sufficiently enforced.

The national euphoria and focus on the final made the rally and fan mess “predictable” and “there was a collective failure to plan for the worst case scenario.”

Lady Casey wrote: “Finally, the biggest challenge I have posed is about the culture that has led some people on the day at Wembley, and on social media days after, to choose to behave this way.

“What makes people think it’s okay to break into a stadium or abuse handicapped entrances just because it’s a big game or there are empty seats?” inside ?

“Why on earth should we expect black footballers to continue playing for their country amid the racist abuse of their own countrymen? “

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were racially abused on social media after the match.

Lady Casey recommends a series of more general changes to help prevent a recurrence:

  • Empower the authorities to act more firmly against supporters who use drugs, flares and smoke bombs at matches and around stadiums and who enter stadiums without tickets.
  • A Football Association campaign to force “a radical change in attitudes towards the behavior of supporters”.
  • Better communication between the agencies supervising the match and the flow of supporters to the stadium.
  • A new category for football matches of “national significance” to raise awareness among organizers of the unique challenges of these major events.

Metropolitan Police said 51 arrests were made in connection with the final, including 26 at Wembley. In total, there were 90 football-related arrests of English fans at Euro 2020.

England have been ordered to play a game behind closed doors and the FA fined UEFA, the governing body of European football, 100,000 euros (£ 84,560) as punishment for the unrest.

UK Sport has denied England’s possible bid to host the 2030 World Cup was irreparably damaged by the disorder.

What was the reaction?

Mark Bullingham, Managing Director of the Football Association stated that “no event is organized to deal with such disgraceful behavior from thousands of ticketless fans,” but apologized “for the terrible experience many suffered at Wembley during what should have been a historic night ”.

“We fully accept the findings of the report and there are important lessons for us, as well as for the other agencies involved,” he added. Collectively, we must never allow this to happen again. “

Julian Knight MP, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, said: “It is clear that we narrowly avoided a full scale disaster at Wembley. This day of national shame saw the behavior of drunken and drugged thugs putting the lives of real football fans in danger.

“That a collective planning failure allowed for security breaches of this magnitude is a serious accusation given that the risk was foreseeable.

“We have to see the actions taken by the football authorities before bidding on major tournaments. The DCMS committee will be monitoring not what is said today, but what will be done in the weeks and months to come. ”

A statement from Brent’s counsel said: “We welcome Baroness Casey’s comprehensive and balanced report. This is not a blame game, it is about learning lessons to ensure that the shocking scenes of Euro Sunday can never be repeated. We will work closely with partners, including the FA and Metropolitan Police, to advance the recommendations. “

“It was risky … it was scary”

BBC Sports News Correspondent Natalie Pirks

I have attended hundreds of matches at Wembley in my two decades as a sports broadcaster. It was risky… it was scary. It was unlike anything I had known before.

I would have always said in the past that I would take my kids to the England matches but I was so glad they weren’t there that day.

It was very evident from around 10 am that there was no police around. There were fans who were already drunk and worse, and there was no one around. It is said in the report that the police did not start arriving until around noon, and by that time there were already a lot of fans on the pitch.

From 1 p.m., given that it was a kick-off at 8 p.m., you knew what that would mean in terms of drinking all day long – but it was a lot worse. Flares, drugs in the streets, leaning lampposts, brawls.

When you go abroad with England you see some English fans who are very culturally friendly, they like to be with England and are generally very respectful of the country. The fans you saw that day aren’t necessarily those from England.


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