Wembley Euro final disorder report: comment

by Mark Rowe

As for response to the Casey Review of the disorder at the Euro 2020 Championship final at Wembley (pictured) on Sunday, July 11: the Met Police says that it continues to investigate the offences. Detectives are assessing tens of thousands of hours of CCTV footage, body worn footage and social media clips to identify those responsible for the scenes of disorder, police say. This investigation will take time, but the Met remains committed to taking firm action, it says. This is however in contrast to the swift and harsh justice meted out to rioters and looters in London and in other English towns and cities in August 2011.

The Met commented that police officers and stewards faced unprecedented challenges and unacceptable levels of violence in trying to bring about order. Met Commander Rachel Williams said: “First and foremost I am deeply sorry that so many people who came to enjoy a day of football, were met with unacceptable scenes of disorder.

“We welcome the praise by Baroness Casey on the bravery of officers in directly confronting scenes of disorder. Her comments sets out the unprecedented pressure officers faced, they are a credit to policing.

“Throughout the course of the day, this moment of national significance was tarnished by groups of ticketless, anti-social and thuggish football fans who were intent on causing disorder and committing criminal acts. We regret that we were not able to do more to prevent those scenes unfolding.

“We vow to work with the FA and others, to learn from what went wrong and ensure those shocking scenes of thuggery are not repeated.

“Across the Met, we will review Baroness Casey’s report in great detail and take on board her recommendations.”

The review by Baroness Casey, a former senior civil servant, was commissioned by the Football Association. FA CEO Mark Bullingham said: “”We fully accept its findings and there are important learnings for us, as well as other agencies involved.

“The FA apologises for the terrible experience that many suffered within Wembley on what should have been a historic night for the game.

“Everyone at the FA was appalled at the significant levels of crowd disorder throughout the day on 11 July. The review makes clear that the circumstances leading up to the match led to a perfect storm of lawlessness.

“No event is set up to deal with such disgraceful behaviour from thousands of ticketless fans. Collectively we must never allow this to happen again. Baroness Casey is clear that moving forwards, where there is an event of national significance, we and all agencies must view it through a different lens.”

Echoing that, Baroness Casey in her foreword to the 127-page report said she was satisfied that the FA leadership team ‘gets it’ about the hooliganism and racsim shown on that Sunday; and are committed to change. Now they need to make it happen, she wrote.

She posed what she termed the biggest challenge around the culture that led some individuals to behave on the day at Wembley, and in the days after on social media. “What makes people believe that it is somehow acceptable to break into a stadium or abuse disabled entrances just because it is a big match or there are spare seats inside? Why on earth should black footballers be expected to continue to play for their country amid racist abuse from their own countrymen? That is partly about what the FA and football can do to keep these people away from grounds. But we also need a national conversation about greater civility and responsibility that goes far beyond what one sport alone can do.”

You can download the full report from the FA website.

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