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England fan disorder at Euro 2020 final almost led to deaths, review finds

09 December 2021

A Football Association review into the Euro 2020 cup final at Wembley has found that deaths and widespread injuries were only narrowly avoided after those in charge failed to plan for the “worst-case scenario” despite numerous warnings.

Thousands of people without tickets attempted to storm the stadium, primarily through the Disabled entrances, to see England play Italy, and tens of thousands more caused severe disorder on Olympic Way. The review says the incidents are a “national shame”.

Lady Louise Casey who led the review said: “I am clear that the primary responsibility for what went wrong at Wembley that day lies with those who lost control of their own behaviour that day, not with anyone who did their best but lost control of the crowd… Nevertheless there are always lessons to be learned. No one was fully prepared for what happened that day and it can’t be allowed to happen again.”

The report highlights a situation far worse than had been previously assumed. Over 2,000 people gained access without tickets, there were 17 mass breaches of security, and a systematic targeting of Disabled entrances. A previously unreported 6,000-strong crowd stood outside the stadium waiting to charge the gates in the event of an England victory.

One ticketless fan tried to impersonate a steward and hijack a disabled child, separating the boy from his father, to trick his way in. His father told The Guardian: “Just as we got to the door we twigged what was going on and it turned out he’s just an England fan in a high-viz jacket that was literally hijacking a wheelchair to get into the stadium.”

DR UK Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “We welcome this report. It is a wake-idup call to the senior management of all arenas and stadiums that they must safeguard Disabled people rather than making the facilities we need the weakest links in their security.”