Euro 2020, delayed almost a year due to an ‘unspecified virus of unknown origin’ (Read: China), reached its fitting climax on the lush green turf of the historical Wembley Stadium with the Azzurri’s taking the coveted trophy home, for the second time in their illustrious footballing history. England showed incredible gusto to reach the finals and nearly won the trophy but the ‘exclusive’ eluded them once again. However, as good as the performance of the ‘three lions’ was on the pitch, it was all diluted by the brash, raucous, uncivilized and uncouth behaviour by the English fans and spectators alike.
Hours before the kickoff, thousands of English fans started gathering on the streets leading to the Stadium. However, as the time of the kickoff drew close, the English fans started turning into hooligans, under the heavy influence of alcohol, and created some distasteful scenes, littering the place with garbage and indulging in hostile behaviour.
Groups of England fans without tickets forced their way through the Wembley turnstiles. Supporters breached security barriers outside the stadium and squeezed behind ticket-holders or burst through the electronic gates that allow entry to the concourses and seats. The videos of fans creating ruckus and battling with stewards and police to go past the lines surfaced on social media and received widespread criticism.
The ugly scenes were not limited to the streets as violence broke inside the premises of the Wembley stadium. Few English fans took to allegedly punching Italian fans inside the stadium, according to media reports.
Marcus Rashford, the young Manchester United striker who missed an unfortunate penalty on the big stage last evening, along with other young striplings in Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka received racial abuse and vitriol on the online platforms. Rashford’s mural in Manchester was vandalised by the miscreants as well.
The English spectators inside the stadium, for the umpteenth time in the tournament, booed the opposition players while the Italian national anthem played. Similarly, when players took the knee to show support for the BLM cause, some miscreants showed their ghoulish behaviour.
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen who had gone to Wembley with his son Dylan to attend the Final was left horrified after the antics of the fans and questioned if England even deserved to win or host the World Cup.
The trophy might come home for England in the upcoming World Cup but the unruly behaviour by the English fans will forever remain on the realms of social media platforms as a reminder that for some, sports is just an outlet to show their inhumane and uncivilized side to the world. Gareth Southgate and his men won the admiration of football lovers across the globe but Brand England has received no new supporters.