Fans who broke into Wembley 'an embarrassment' to England

12 July 2021, 11:27 | Updated: 12 July 2021, 11:43

Thousands flocked to Wembley Stadium for the Euro final
Thousands flocked to Wembley Stadium for the Euro final. Picture: Alamy Live News

By Daisy Stephens

The Football Association (FA) has condemned a small group of fans who forced their way into Wembley Stadium ahead of Sunday's Euro final.

Footage on social media shows fans clashing with stewards and police as they attempted to break through the gates of the stadium. It is unclear whether anyone who broke in managed to watch the game.

Initially it had was denied that anyone had successfully broken in, but later a stadium spokesperson confirmed there was a breach and "a small group" of people had got through security.

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An FA spokesperson tweeted a statement late on Sunday night saying: "We strongly condemn the behaviour of a group of people that forced their way into Wembley Stadium before the EURO 2020 Final. This is entirely unacceptable.

"These people are an embarrassment to the England team and to all of the true fans who wanted to enjoy one of the most important matches in our history.

"We will work with the relevant authorities to take action against anyone who is identified to have illegally forced their way into the stadium."

A total of 49 arrests were made in London last night, as fans took to the streets in the run-up to, and fall out from, the nail-biting final.

Flares were released, sparking a fire alert at King's Cross station, and social media footage showed people climbing traffic lights and buildings.

Fans also tried to push into the Trafalgar Square fan zone without tickets.

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19 officers were injured while confronting "volatile crowds", something that was deemed "wholly unacceptable" by the Met.

This morning, some players have been victims of racist abuse on social media.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have all been subject to abuse after missing their penalties.

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The FA called the abuse "disgusting" in a statement, saying: "The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media.

"We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.

"We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.

"Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse."

At first Sunday's match looked like it was going well for England, with an early goal scored by Luke Shaw close to the two-minute mark - the fastest ever scored at a European Championship final.

Italy equalised in the 67th minute, and after extra time the game went to penalties.

They then went on to win the shoot-out, bringing heartbreak to the young England squad and millions of fans who had hoped football might be coming home.