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Euro 2020 final violence a ‘national shame’ that was so close to fatalities, damning report finds

·2-min read

The violence that erupted at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley was a “source of national shame”, a damning report found today.

Baroness Louise Casey’s 129-report highlighted how 2,000 ticketless fans fuelled by alcohol and drugs forced their way into England’s game against Italy.

It concluded there were a series of “very near misses” which could have led to a number of deaths at England’s biggest game for over half a century.

Baroness Casey said: “I am clear that we were close to fatalities and or life-changing injuries for some, potentially many, in attendance.

“The drunkenness, drug taking, irresponsibility, criminality and abuse of innocent people… was shocking and intolerable.

“That this should happen anywhere in Britain is a cause for concern. That it should happen at our national stadium and on the day of our biggest game for 55 years is a source of national shame.”

The report detailed unprecedented levels of criminal and anti-social behaviour, which caught officials off guard. With a reduced capacity of 67,000 under Covid-19 protocols, it gave ticketless fans greater belief they could force their way into the ground for what was described as “the perfect storm”.

In total, there were 17 different entry breaches at the stadium with reports some stewards took bribes to allow ticketless fans inside.

The partner of one England player described being “scared for my life” while another ticketless fan impersonated a steward and hijacked a disabled child in order to gain entry.

Baroness Casey made a series of recommendations including calling on the Government to consider strengthening penalties for football-related disorder as well as a national Football Association (FA) campaign to address fan behaviour.

FA CEO Mark Bullingham said: “We fully accept its findings and there are important learnings for us. The FA apologises for the terrible experience that many suffered within Wembley on what should have been a historic night for the game.”

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