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‘They’re thugs not fans’: Met Police Federation condemns England supporters after officers attacked

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England supporters who attacked officers after last night’s Euro 2020 final defeat are “thugs not fans”, the Metropolitan Police Federation has said.

The body, which represents thousands of London’s police officers, tweeted: “These people should be ashamed of themselves.

“They are not fans. They are thugs. We wish our injured colleagues well.”

England fans and police in London's Piccadilly Circus
Image: England fans and police in London’s Piccadilly Circus

The Met Police said 19 officers were injured when they “confronted volatile crowds” in the capital after the game and 49 people had been arrested for a “variety of offences”.

Police said some people in the capital had been “jumping off street lamps or hoardings”, something officers warned “could easily end in injury”.

Earlier on Sunday, fans were pictured in London’s Leicester Square throwing bottles and road cones, leaving the area littered with rubbish.

Clean-up operations were well underway in the capital by 7.30am following the huge mess left by football fans, with only a handful of diehard England supporters remaining around Leicester Square.

More on Euro 2020

The scene in central London after England lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy
Image: The scene in central London after England lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy
Image: Some people in the capital had been jumping off street lamps or hoardings, police said

Before kick-off, up to 100 ticketless fans broke through security barriers at Wembley to get into the stadium while there were reports of match stewards being abused.

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Fans were captured breaking through security barriers at Wembley

Footage showed people jumping over walls and running towards the stadium to gain access, with police on a manhunt to track down those who got in without tickets.

Some people with booked seats could not sit in them as ticketless fans were in their place, as others stood in gangways to get a glimpse of the game.

England fans clash with Italian fans in central London
Image: England fans clash with Italian fans in central London

Sonny Stockford and his son Samuel, speaking to Sky News, said they had tickets but their view was obstructed by ticketless fans who were lined up in multiple rows in front of them.

“You’ve got a mass of people that have rushed in and they have got no seats, and they are stood in front of you, lined up”, Mr Stockford said.

“The security would do nothing about it. I went to security and spoke to seven different people, I asked people with radios to contact people.

“They all came back and said the same thing: ‘We don’t have enough staff, we can’t do anything about it.’

“I said to them this was one of the biggest security risks you could ever wish to see, and what are you going to do? You can’t leave hundreds of people in aisles and in seats that cannot get in or out, this is not acceptable.”

Police and Italy fans in central London following the country's Euro 2020 win
Image: Police try to control crowds in central London following Italy’s win
Police and fans in London's Piccadilly Circus after Italy won the UEFA Euro 2020 Final against England

There were also scuffles and clashes with officers throughout central London where people gathered in large crowds to watch the match, including at Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.

Junior minister Edward Argar told Sky News that these fans do not represent the majority of supporters.

He said: “I think the police did a fantastic job and sadly we saw a number of police officers, as I understand it, injured last night and I think there have been 45 arrests made so far, and action will be taken against those who have perpetrated these offences, who broke the rules or broke the law.

England fans stand against a line of police in Piccadilly Circus
Image: England supporters stand against a line of officers in Piccadilly Circus

“The police did, I think, a fantastic job – they know what they are doing, they know how to operationally police events.

“It is sad when a very small number of people, a tiny minority, bring the sport into disrepute by trying to do something like this.”

English fans kick and stand on a litter bin in Piccadilly Circus following the match
Image: English fans kick and stand on a litter bin in Piccadilly Circus following the match

He added: “Again, I would say they are not reflective of the fans of our national game and our national team.

“The police will take, I know, all action necessary against those who have been arrested where they can prove an offence has been committed.”