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Officials feared 6,000 unticketed fans would storm Wembley if England won Euros final


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ngland winning their Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out would have paved the way for 6,000 more ticketless fans storming Wembley, with FA officials reluctantly willing Italy to win as a result.

But three times that number were ready to charge in as the exits were opened for fans to leave Wembley at full-time on a night that was described as “a perfect storm” with unprecedented levels of criminal and anti-social behaviour.

The report found that not just members of the FA, but Wembley officials and stewards were willing England to lose. One unnamed FA official described people in extra time “standing like zombies on the line trying to get in… I’m estimating 6,000 people”.

One Greater London Authority official said: “I wanted Italy to win under penalties. I was begging for the scenario that unfolded because there was pressure building… and I was just, ‘If they win, that charge is uncontrollable’.”

Emergency services, meanwhile, said an England victory would have led to a major incident and left staff “on their knees”.

The damning report detailed how the partner of one England player feared for her life while the father of another player described people sprawled on the ground, including a young wheelchair user after fans stormed the entry barriers.

In total, 2,000 people made their way in at 17 entry points although 400 people were later ejected. One ticketless fan even impersonated a steward and hijacked a child in a wheelchair in order to gain access to Wembley.

Baroness Louise Casey, the author of the report, said: “The Euro 2020 finals was a potentially glorious national occasion that turned into a day of national shame.”

She said that England manager Gareth Southgate and his players were “let down by a horde of ticketless, drunken and drugged-up thugs who chose to abuse innocent, vulnerable and disabled people as well as police officers, volunteers and Wembley staff, creating an appalling scene of disorder and coming perilously close to putting lives at risk.”

via REUTERS

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