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Wembley scenes were 'a genuine badge of shame for the country' | Martin Lipton

The hooliganism present at the finals of the European Championship in Wembley needs to be punishe...

Stephen Kisbey-Green
Stephen Kisbey-Green

14:16 13 Jul 2021



Soccer

Wembley scenes were 'a genuine badge of shame for the country' | Martin Lipton

Stephen Kisbey-Green
Stephen Kisbey-Green

14:16 13 Jul 2021

The hooliganism present at the finals of the European Championship in Wembley needs to be punished severely, according to The Sun’s Martin Lipton.

Fans in England took to the streets early on Sunday, before a large crowd had gathered at Wembley stadium, many of whom without tickets, in order to support their team in the Euro 2020 final.

Before kickoff, a large group of these ticketless fans had rushed the stadium, and managed to burst their way through into the stands, where they remained for the duration of the match.

Reports coming from inside the stadium mentioned that English fans had gotten into brawls, while others occupied seats that they did not have tickets for, causing genuine ticket holders to seek alternative seating, or simply leave the match early.

Ireland has been planning on entering into a joint bid with England to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, however the events of Sunday have caused many Irish fans to question that collaboration.

Speaking on Tuesday’s OTB AM, Lipton discussed whether or not the lawlessness present at Wembley on Sunday would have any impact on the potential World Cup bid.

“The issue is, does a British Isle bid get the support of [Aleksander] Ceferin and UEFA over a Spanish and Portuguese bid,” Lipton said.

“If not, it doesn’t matter anyhow; if so, then they have a chance, unless they decide to ignore UEFA.

“Also, if China bid, they win anyhow, so it won’t matter.”

While he does not believe that the events on Sunday would negatively impact the bid, Lipton was appalled by what he had seen from the supporters.

“The images of Sunday afternoon and Sunday morning and throughout the whole night were despicable, disgusting, outrageous, a genuine badge of shame for the country,” Lipton said.

“I mean that! What I witnessed on television was utterly beyond belief. It was so bad, and speaking to people who were there, it was probably even worse.

“It was disgusting, and it was shameful! But unfortunately, we are not the only country that has shameful acts perpetrated by some small number of individuals.

“The worry though was that there were too many of them.”

Watch Michelle Owen's recollection of the events in Wembley here:

If he had his way, Lipton said that anyone that was involved in the hooliganism on Sunday should be banned from football events in the country for life.

“The policing, the stewarding, the ticketing and the organisation was also woefully inadequate,” Lipton said.

“That is not in any way meant to justify or condone [the actions of the people]. I would like every single one of those people to be banned from anywhere near a football stadium for the rest of their lives.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have that power. There is CCTV, they should be able to identify them, and they will know if they had a ticket or not because they have a database of ticket holders.

“Anyone that they identify who went into that stadium who they know didn’t have a ticket, they should be able to identify and the courts should come in an ban them.

“Legally I think they are only allowed ban for three years, but you can always rush through emergency legislation.”

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