England’s failure to bring football home on Sunday night as they lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy was only the latest of a series of disappointments on the day, with chaos surrounding Wembley from the early afternoon and right through until kick off.
Wembley Way was awash with people – some with tickets and plenty without – and was the scene of unsavoury behaviour as supporters of the Three Lions ran riot, with seemingly thousands forcing their way beyond barriers and into the stadium, even without having tickets to show for themselves.
The stadium wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near capacity, and there should have been close to 30,000 vacant seats, though there didn’t appear to be anywhere near that. In fact, some parts of the stadium were even overcrowded, with people filling walkways and crowding around the press area.
Overconfidence around the team, but things to worry about now
English football fans and members of its media have often been accused of overconfidence when it comes to their national team’s chances. That was best seen this summer during the semi-finals, when Rio Ferdinand spoke on the BBC.
It doesn’t matter who goes through here, if you’re England,” Ferdinand said during Italy and Spain’s semi-final. “I feel that England beat both of these sides, I feel that no one can compete with us right now.
“People might think I’m getting carried away, I don’t care. From what I’ve seen, England are the better team.”
England, though, do have reasons to be concerned after Sunday, and it has little to do with what happened on the pitch and everything to do with the scenes on Wembley way and around London.
Videos and pictures of Leicester Square made for unpleasant viewing as well, with fans leaving the renowned city centre location resembling a war zone.
Wembley Way, meanwhile, was similarly covered in broken glass and overly aggressive supporters – the reasons for this aggression and behaviour were seen in some other videos – and it painted English football culture in a bad light.
Serious questions have to be asked of England as a host for future UEFA and FIFA competitions now, with security having been almost non-existent on Sunday.