Euro 2020: Final was in danger of being abandoned due to unruly fan behaviour, says police

·2-min read
Fans outside the Wembley Stadium. (Photo Credit/ Joe Pompliano's twitter)
Fans outside the Wembley Stadium. (Photo Credit/ Joe Pompliano's twitter)

London [UK], July 15 (ANI): Metropolitan Police has said that the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy was in danger of being called off because ticketless fans broke into the Wembley Stadium.

Ahead of the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy, fans broke barricades and entered the stadium. A total of 26 people were arrested at the stadium for their behaviour.

"On Sunday, for the first time in more than 50 years, England had qualified for the final of a major international football tournament. This was meant to be a day of national pride, full of jubilance and celebration. In the main, the day was exactly that. However, it was sadly tarnished by a minority of disorderly and violent fans who attempted to hijack the final for their own selfish personal gain," an official statement on the website of Met Police read.

"Throughout the course of the day, police officers witnessed disgraceful behaviour both in central London and at Wembley, where a number of people pushed through security cordons or fought with police officers. Soon after gates opened, the stewarding and outer security perimeter became overwhelmed and fans began pushing through security checks. I want to praise the quick response by police commanders and those brave officers who confronted these subsequent scenes of disorder and violence," it added.

Further talking about the situation, deputy assistant commissioner Jane Connors said: "I am in no doubt that their swift action prevented any further escalation. Frustratingly, 19 of our officers were injured during the course of Sunday's policing operation when confronting volatile crowds."

"I do not accept that the policing operation failed and I stand by the difficult decisions made by police officers and the Met's public order commanders. Without their immediate intervention, it is possible that this game could have been abandoned. The ugly scenes at Wembley on Sunday night will rightly be reviewed by the Football Association and by police. Where lessons can be learnt we will work with partners to ensure that future matches are not disrupted by a group of hooligans who are fueled on alcohol," he added.

Videos posted on social media showed huge numbers of fans rushing past security and trying to gain entry to the stadium ahead of the Euro 2020 final. Many supporters also managed to gain entry to the stadium despite not having tickets.

Italy ended England's dream of winning the Euro 2020 final at the Wembley Stadium on Sunday (local time). Azzurri defeated England 3-2 on penalties after the normal 90-minute action had finished at 1-1 and even extra time was not able to break the deadlock. (ANI)

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