Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Maguire wants supporters to be on best behaviour at Nations League

Around 15,000 England fans are expected to travel to Portugal for the semi-final against Holland.

England’s Harry Maguire wants the travelling fans to behave in Portugal (Tim Goode/PA)
England’s Harry Maguire wants the travelling fans to behave in Portugal (Tim Goode/PA)

Harry Maguire has urged England fans to behave themselves in Portugal next week despite some being called an embarrassment to their country.

The Football Association has released its ‘Don’t Be That Idiot’ campaign ahead of the Nations League finals in Portugal.

The video has been made to highlight the issue of anti-social behaviour across English football.

Go and have a good time, but there needs to be boundaries and I'm sure they will stick to them Harry Maguire

England face Holland in their semi-final next Thursday with the winners facing either Portugal or Switzerland and Maguire is hopeful supporters will be on their best behaviour.

“Go and have a good time, but there needs to be boundaries and I’m sure they will stick to them,” said the Leicester defender.

“I can only speak of when I was there at the Euros for the second two group games and they were unbelievable out there, and the atmosphere they created was unbelievable as well. So let’s hope they continue that.

“You’ve seen over the years with England fans that they always take numerous numbers out there, and the support they give the team is really special at times.

“So, like you’ve said, it’s a time for them to show, and us to show, on the pitch and off the pitch that we’re a country moving forward, and want things to look forward to in the future.”

The FA’s short film portrays extreme examples of unacceptable behaviour within a formal setting to highlight the embarrassment caused.

Each incident is a recreation of football-related scenes seen in recent years both domestically and in Europe and it ends with a message from England manager Gareth Southgate.

The FA has the power to suspend any of its 13,000 members and has banned some for life after anti-social behaviour.

The FA’s head of teams and corporate security, Tony Conniford, believes while the majority of England fans are good some let their team and country down.

He said: “It is embarrassing. As a country, I think the whole of it feels that embarrassment. We all feel it, working for the Football Association. Everybody associated with the team feels it.

bpanews_0ae8b4f7-b75a-43bc-b14b-0cd0e3d20e67_embedded241976411
England fans have been told to be on their best behaviour during the Nations League (Nick Potts/PA)

“In stadiums all over the country, people are encouraged to report bad behaviour. We are exactly the same.

“If any member sees or any fan sees anyone behaving in a way that embarrasses the country and them as a football fan because let’s face it they will get treated on the back of that behaviour, we would welcome that being sent to us.

“If it’s someone I can deal with as a member then we will deal with them. If not, we’ll pass it on to the police.

“As long as I can remember, unfortunately, I think I’ve heard the German bomber song in every foreign country I’ve been to.

“We’ve tried to educate people that those songs cause offence and unfortunately, as we all know too well in football, football chants have a habit of coming back all the time.

“It doesn’t matter what you say or what you do, you really have a job on your hands to stop that.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph