England could face stadium ban after Euro 2020 final fan fiasco

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England fans clash with police after the Euro 2020 final in London, England, July 11, 2021. /CFP

England could be ordered to play their games behind closed doors after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the English Football Association (FA) following the security breaches and fan disorder during the Euro 2020 final.

The Three Lions lost to Italy after a thrilling penalty shootout on Sunday, but the showpiece event was overshadowed by a series of unsavory incidents as a large number of ticket-less fans managed to force their way into Wembley Stadium after fighting with stewards and police.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has apologized to legitimate fans and insisted the security team had “never seen anything like it.” He announced that the FA will conduct a full review and work with the police to ban anyone who had forced their way in and to prevent such an event happening again.

The unruly behavior of English fans was also criticized by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose official spokesman said, “Those scenes were unacceptable and we condemn violence, anti-social behavior and abuse in the strongest possible terms.”

UEFA confirmed in a statement that its investigation would be into “events involving supporters which occurred inside and around the stadium.” The FA has been hit with four separate charges, which relate to disturbances caused during the national anthems, invasion of the pitch, the throwing of objects and the lighting of a firework by fans.

Last week, Hungary was slapped with a stadium ban and a hefty fine for the country’s supporters’ racist and homophobic abuse during the Euro 2020 group stages. UEFA has ruled that the Hungarian fans engaged in “discriminatory behavior” at all three group matches.

According to regulations, the ban applies only to UEFA competitions and so will not come into effect until next summer in the Nations League.

Meanwhile, UEFA unveiled its official Team of the Tournament for Euro 2020 on Tuesday. Champions Italy had the most players in the select XI, with runners-up England taking up three places.

The lineup was selected by UEFA’s technical observer team, which was made up of 16 former players and former or current coaches, including Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, former England boss Fabio Capello and West Ham manager David Moyes.

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