England given one-match stadium ban following unrest at Euro 2020 final
England have been ordered to play one match behind closed doors as a punishment for the unrest at Wembley Stadium during the Euro 2020 final.
Uefa also imposed a ban for a second game, which is suspended for two years.
The Football Association was fined 100,000 euros (£84,560) for “the lack of order and discipline inside and around the stadium” for the game.
“Although we are disappointed with the verdict, we acknowledge the outcome of this Uefa decision,” said the FA.
The ban is the first time the FA has received a punishment that has resulted in England having to play a home match behind closed doors.
Fans fought with stewards and police as they attempted to break into Wembley for the match on 11 July, which England lost to Italy on penalties.
Hundreds of fans got into Wembley for the showpiece without tickets after areas around the stadium became packed hours before the evening kick-off.
Many sat in the area reserved for players’ relatives, while England defender Harry Maguire later said that his father Alan suffered two suspected broken ribs before the game.
The Metropolitan Police had said that 51 arrests were made connected to the final, with 26 of those made at Wembley.
“We condemn the terrible behaviour of the individuals who caused the disgraceful scenes in and around Wembley Stadium at the Euro 2020 final, and we deeply regret that some of them were able to enter the stadium,” added the FA.
“We are determined that this can never be repeated, so we have commissioned an independent review, led by Baroness Casey, to report on the circumstances involved.
“We continue to work with the relevant authorities in support of their efforts to take action against those responsible and hold them to account.”
The ban will be in place for England’s next home game in a Uefa competition, which will be in the Nations League next June.
Uefa said the fine related to “the 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” at the Euro 2020 final.
England fans booed the Italian anthem before the match.
Kevin Miles, the Football Supporters’ Association’s chief executive, told BBC Radio 5 Live he was “sickened” by what he saw at the final.
“On arrival at the stadium a couple of hours before kick-off, it was already pretty chaotic outside,” he said.
“I think there was a failure from early in the day from the policing outside the ground right through to the security arrangements on the perimeter of the ground, and then inside.
“We don’t have a bad track record of behaviour at Wembley and in that sense it was a bit of a one-off, but it’s a glaring one. It’s not acceptable.”
In July, the FA was fined more than £25,000 for crowd problems before and during the semi-final victory over Denmark, which included Kasper Schmeichel having a laser shone in his eyes as he prepared to face a penalty from Harry Kane.
Following Euro 2020, Hungary were ordered to play their next three home games – with the third game of the ban suspended – behind closed doors after Uefa found their supporters guilty of discriminatory behaviour during the tournament.
Hungary were also fined 100,000 euros but their supporters were allowed in for a World Cup qualifier against England on 2 September in Budapest as it fell under Fifa jurisdiction.
Following that game, football’s world governing body told Hungary’s FA to play two matches behind closed doors – one suspended for two years – and fined them £158,400 for the racism experienced by England players.
Disorganised, shameful shambles – Analysis
Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer
The FA was never going to escape punishment for the disorganised, shameful shambles that was the Euro 2020 final at Wembley between England and Italy.
From hours before kick-off, Wembley was thronged by thousands of fans. As kick-off drew nearer, it became clear that the situation was out of hand outside the stadium and would also become chaotic inside.
One personal recollection is being offered a large sum of money for my media accreditation literally a few yards from the official entrance when, at any major tournament worthy of the name, it would be impossible to get anywhere near this close without a ticket inspection and security.
This was the most minor of inconveniences compared to what thousands of others suffered but it was an indicator that something had gone very badly wrong.
Supporters fuelled by alcohol stormed barriers and it was clear control had broken down inside the stadium with stewards being abused and ticketless fans even invading the disabled sections to take up seats. There was an atmosphere of threat and chaos.
On what was meant to be a memorable day as England played their first major men’s final for 55 years, any sense of celebration disappeared hours before kick-off and the experience was wrecked for thousands of well-behaved fans who bought their tickets in good faith.
It was a dreadful experience and it was inevitable that the FA would pay a price. This will effectively amount to one game played behind closed doors and a 100,000 euro fine. The shame will be reflected by the sight of the giant stadium deserted for that one game.
The FA has declared itself disappointed with the outcome but, while announcing its insistence that everything will be done to ensure there is no repeat, many who endured that shocking Wembley day will feel the punishment could easily have been heavier.
‘One of the most serious failures I can remember’
Football policing expert Owen West, a former chief superintendent at West Yorkshire Police, told BBC Sport that the events of that day were “hugely embarrassing”.
“This was one of the most serious failures that I can remember,” he said.
“Things like a systematic breach of turnstiles, things like people tailgating, and two or more people being able to get through a space that was designed for one.
“What we saw [among fans trying to get inside Wembley] was the sharing of real-time intelligence, pointing out on social media where there were vulnerabilities, where there was a lack of police officers, where there was weak and inexperienced stewarding, where gates weren’t particularly well protected.
“And the problem for Wembley authorities and the Met Police was that that level of sophistication and organisation was not matched by those that were there to prevent it happening in the first place.”
Original article published 18.10.21 on the BBC website.
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