England hit with stadium ban following Euro 2020 final chaos

UEFA, football’s European governing body, has handed the English Football Association (FA) a stadium ban following crowd disorder in the lead-up to the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on July 11.

England’s next UEFA match – a Nations League fixture next June – must be played behind closed doors as a result of the ruling. UEFA’s punishment includes a second game, which will be suspended for a probationary period of two years.

The FA has also been fined €100,000 (£84,600/$116,000) for the lack of order and discipline inside and around Wembley ahead of the final between England and Italy. The final, which Italy won on penalties, was marred by ticketless fans illegally forcing their way into Wembley.

The stadium was a scene of chaos in the hours leading up to the final, with around 200,000 fans estimated to have been in the vicinity of the stadium. Wembley has a capacity of 90,000 but this was limited to 60,000 for the final due to COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time.

The Metropolitan Police denied that its operation failed ahead of the match and stated that the final “could have been abandoned” without the immediate intervention of officers. A week after the final, the FA confirmed that an independent review led by Baroness Casey of Blackstock had been commissioned. 

UEFA launched its own disciplinary investigation into the events surrounding the final and the governing body has today (Monday) confirmed a stadium ban for the FA.

The FA said in a statement: “Although we are disappointed with the verdict, we acknowledge the outcome of this UEFA decision.

“We condemn the terrible behaviour of the individuals who caused 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.”

Wembley staged a total of eight matches during Euro 2020, with the stadium’s capacity increasing from 22,500 for its opening fixture to around 60,000 for the semi-finals and final. Eleven cities across Europe hosted matches during the tournament.

Image: Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash