Wembley scenes won't get in way of 2030 World Cup bid, Cabinet minister tells LBC

13 July 2021, 08:53

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Ugly scenes at Wembley Stadium will not get in the way of the UK and Ireland's joint 2030 World Cup bid, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay has told LBC.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on Tuesday, the Cabinet minister was asked how likely a successful bid would be after some England supporters were seen clashing with stewards and storming into the stadium prior to Sunday night's Euro 2020 final.

The Football Association (FA) condemned the actions of those responsible, branding their behaviour "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".

Mr Barclay told LBC that what unfolded ahead of the England-Italy game was "concerning" and that the FA was "quite right" to review the incident.

"But," he said, "I don't think that gets in the way of a World Cup bid."

Read more: 49 arrests in central London after England's devastating Euro defeat

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Steve Barclay told LBC the scenes at Wembley won't affect the World Cup bid
Steve Barclay told LBC the scenes at Wembley won't affect the World Cup bid. Picture: LBC / Alamy

The Treasury minister added that there were "underlying reasons" for the ugly scenes in and around the national stadium, before listing all the positive criteria the nation can offer as part of its 2030 World Cup bid with Ireland.

"The stadium facilities we have, the fantastic support of the British public for our national game, the way it unites us, the way people came together around a fantastic England team that really represented the best of our country," he said.

"I think the strength of a bid is there and one shouldn't overplay an individual incident, albeit a serious one, that we need to ensure we learn from."

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."

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