UEFA Launches Probe Into Unruly English Behavior at Euro Final
(Bloomberg) -- European soccer’s governing body launched disciplinary proceedings against England’s Football Association over a series of incidents at the Euro 2020 final, held at London’s Wembley Stadium.
The final of Europe’s showpiece tournament, won by Italy after a penalty-shootout victory over England, was marred by disorder outside and inside the stadium.
UEFA charged the FA over the “invasion of the field of play” by an intruder, the booing of Italy’s national anthem, objects apparently thrown by England supporters and the lighting of a firework.
In addition, UEFA said it will conduct a disciplinary investigation into events involving apparently ticketless supporters which occurred inside and outside the stadium on Sunday.
The charges come in the aftermath of racist abuse aimed at several Black England players who missed penalties at the climax of Sunday’s match. The FA, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and others have condemned the abuse, and Johnson has summoned tech companies to Downing Street to examine ways to tackle online abuse.
Thousands of people without tickets converged on Wembley in the run-up to the match, and videos posted on social media showed that many were able to gain entry to the stadium after pushing open doors or “tailgating” through turnstiles.
There were reports of overcrowding in some parts of the stadium, which had spare seats as capacity was limited to 67,000 due to Covid restrictions.
UEFA said information on the investigation “will be made available in due course.” The FA said it will carry out a “full review and investigation,” and said the behavior of people who forced their way into the stadium was “unacceptable, dangerous and showed total disregard for the safety and security protocols in place.”
The charges follow a fine for, among other things, the shining of a laser at Denmark’s goalkeeper during the semi-final, also held at Wembley.
They could lead to sanctions, including the requirement to play one more matches behind closed doors. The incidents and investigation will come as a blow to the FA, which wants to host the 2030 World Cup in a joint bid with Ireland and the rest of Britain.
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