England fans failed to follow Gareth Southgate’s advice and opted to boo the Italian national anthem at the start of the Euro 2020 final.
Supporters have come under fire for their treatment of opposing team’s anthems, with that culminating in a UEFA sanctioned fine for actions against Denmark.
The Three Lions have played all but one of their games in the tournament at Wembley, backed by a vociferous section of fans.
22,500 were present for the group games, before that was doubled for the round-of-16 against Germany, increasing to more than 60,000 for the semis and final.
The increased capacity has been part of the government’s trial events ahead of the planned lifting of coronavirus restrictions on July 19.
On the most part, the atmosphere generated by returning fans has been wholly praised, but the booing of the anthems has been criticised.
UEFA fined the English FA almost £30,000 fans for three incidents during the 2-1 win over Denmark, including what they described as “disturbances during the anthems”.
They were also sanctioned after Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel had a laser pointer shone in his eyes and a separate moment which saw flares let off during the encounter.
Ahead of the final with the Azzurri, Southgate asked fans to respect the Italian anthem and instead try to intimidate their opponents during the game itself.
“It is important that our fans always respect the opposition and we know that in actual fact when we play abroad and fans boo our anthem it probably inspires us even more, so I don’t think it will help the team,” he said in his pre-match press conferences.
“I think we can intimidate the team with the booing during the game, but it’s different for the anthem. I think we should be respectful.”
That plea fell on deaf ears as both anthems were greeted with a cacophony of noise. One major plus however, was the rousing reception to both teams taking the knee in solidarity shortly before the game got underway.
Just minutes after that, England fans were sparked into wild scenes of jubilation when Luke Shaw opened the scoring one minute and 57 seconds into the match.