Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham has responded to Government calls for an explanation into the shocking scenes which marred the Euro 2020 final.
In a letter to Julian Knight MP, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Bullingham said the actions of thousands of England supporters before and during the penalty shoot-out defeat by Italy “brought shame to the whole country”.
The FA has now commissioned an independent review to investigate the trouble, which saw dozens of ticketless fans force their way into Wembley, while there were ugly scenes ahead of the match and in the stands.
Bullingham vowed that lessons would be learned after the national stadium was subjected to a “six-hour siege” by “thousands of lawless yobs”.
Their behaviour was unacceptable, dangerous, often criminal and showed total disregard for the law and other peopleMark Bullingham
Bullingham wrote: “The scenes around Wembley Stadium at the UEFA Euro 2020 final on Sunday, July 11 were both shocking and appalling.
“We were faced with thousands of yobs outside the stadium, many of whom were drunk or intoxicated in other ways. Subsequently large numbers also tried, often violently, to force their way into Wembley from public areas.
“Their behaviour was unacceptable, dangerous, often criminal and showed total disregard for the law and other people. No police officer, steward, security staff or genuine fan should be subjected to this type of sustained public disorder.
“This was disgraceful behaviour which brought shame to the whole country at a time when our incredible men’s England team had done so much to lift the mood of the nation during one of the most difficult times in our history.
“At a time when we should be celebrating the achievements of the team, we are focused on how our stadium team of police, security and stewards had to battle the horrendous actions of thousands of lawless yobs during a six-hour siege – something no stadium is set up to deal with.
“We are determined to get to the bottom of what happened both outside and then inside Wembley and are aware that everyone will need to learn the lessons of the day and instigate changes for the future where needed.
“To achieve this, we have commissioned an independent review focused on learning lessons to prevent this from ever taking place again.
“This will be led by Baroness Casey of Blackstock and we have informed both Number 10 and the Secretary of State as well as you.
“The review will speak to the relevant parties such as the police, the Greater London Authority, the Safety Advisory Group and those involved in tournament delivery including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
“It will also reflect on fan experience and include evidence from supporters.
“Meanwhile, we continue to work with the relevant authorities in support of their efforts to identify those responsible and hold them to account.
“I am confident that the independent review will provide all of us with comprehensive answers to the questions that you and your colleagues have posed, as well as many of our own that we have.
“We will share the findings with you once it is completed.”