UEFA has ordered England to play their next home match behind closed doors as a result of the crowd trouble at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
As reported, ticketless England fans clashed with police and stewards as they attempted to force their way into the stadium ahead of the team’s first final appearance since 1966, against Italy in July.
The disciplinary panel of UEFA has sanctioned England with a two-match stadium ban, one of which will be suspended for two years, as well as a fine of 100,000 euros. As a result, there will be no fans at England’s Nations League opener in 2022-23.
A statement from the English FA read: “Although we are disappointed with the verdict, we acknowledged the outcome of this UEFA decision. We condemn the terrible behaviour of the individuals who caused the disgraceful scenes in and around Wembley Stadium at the Euro 2020 final, and we deeply regret that some of them were able to enter the stadium.
“We are determined that this can never be repeated, so we have commissioned an independent review, led by Baroness Casey, to report on the circumstances involved. We continue to work with the relevant authorities in support of their efforts to take action against those responsible and hold them to account.”
The FA is responsible for the conduct of England fans under UEFA rules, and the FA has requested a personal hearing with the panel via video conference.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the match’s capacity was reduced from 90,000 to 60,000, and with 30,000 empty seats in the stadium, many ticketless and ticketed fans began causing havoc even five hours before kick-off.
In the hours leading up to kick-off, fans reported seeing unruly fans urinating and taking drugs in the densely populated residential area, while ticket-checking cordons had been breached, with fans outnumbering stewards and police.
Many ticketed fans arrived at the stadium to discover that their seats had been taken by those who had entered the stadium illegally. During the operation, 19 police officers were injured, and 49 people were arrested.
England’s ability to host the 2030 World Cup, for which it is considering a joint bid with the home nations and Ireland, has been questioned following the events at Wembley in July. Wembley Stadium is supposed to host the final if the bid is successful.
Editing by Omotola Oguneye