Plans to erect a new, gated security fence at Wembley Stadium have been given backing by the Football Association as a response to the chaos surrounding the Euro 2020 final.
Around 2,000 ticketless supporters illegally gained entry to the home of English football by smashing their way through emergency and disabled entrances. A report by Baroness Casey found there was a “collective failure” in the planning and preparation of the contest, which saw 10,000 people gather at Wembley eight hours before the Three Lions’ clash against Italy in July 2021.
The Football Association (FA) is supporting the plans submitted to Brent Council with the intention of “enhancing security standards”.
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The plans would include the instalment of new perimeter fences at entrances, designed to “deter unwanted guests climbing and rushing” towards the gates. It’s believed, this scheme will also help prevent “unauthorised or unticketed fans from being able to push through as a way of access into the stadium”.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) understand new entrance portals could be built at the Club Wembley, media, staff, and VIP entrances as a means of protection for those visitors. However, unlike the outer security fence, these plans are still subject to approval by Brent Council.
During the Euro 2020 final, 17 disabled entrances and fire doors were forced open during the enormous rush to break into the stadium. The mass breaches occurred during a period ranging from 90 minutes before kick-off until the penalty shootout, which England went on to lose 3-2.
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Due to Coronavirus restrictions, only 67,173 of the 90,000 capacity at Wembley Stadium were meant to be there to watch the game. Around 400 people were ejected from the stadium by staff during the match.
Casey’s report also stated many of the supporters were “already drunk and carrying bags full of alcohol”. Casey also described the context surrounding the game as a “perfect storm of lawlessness” due to the fact it was England’s first major final since 1966, the large number of empty seats, and the fact the game took place after Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed.
After the “day of national shame”, FA CEO Mark Bullingham released a statement saying: “The FA apologises for the terrible experience that many suffered within Wembley on what should have been a historic night for the game.”
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