EURO 2020: England’s final loss and obsession with hooliganism

Post the Euro 2020 final, England fans were seen assaulting Italian fans on camera -- a new chapter in infamous scuffles between them and an overseas side during football matches in history.

Representative Image: Though arrests of English fans have been made for indiscipline throughout EURO 2020, it will remain to be seen how much of it affects the ‘English Disease’ after all.   -  GETTY IMAGES

England lost to Italy in a nail-biting finish with penalties deciding the winner in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday at the Wembley Stadium in London.

“It is coming to Rome!” shouted a jubilant Leonardo Bonucci and that was about it. The fabled ‘It’s coming home’ jibe was discarded by the Azzurri as they cherished redemption after a horror exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup's qualifiers.

 

But for England fans, it was war.

As head coach Gareth Southgate composed his army after the penalty misses, English football fans hollered racial abuses on social media, beat up Italian fans and gave a live demonstration of everything ‘home’ should not look like.

From Heysel to Paris, from Porto to Wembley, here are some of the most infamous incidents of scuffles between the England fans and an overseas side, club or country, during football matches.

- THE HEYSEL STADIUM DISASTER -

The final of the 1985 European cup was to be played between Juventus and Liverpool. That was when the English crowd went berserk before kick-off. A neutral area close to the Liverpool fans was occupied by Italians before the match.

READ: After Heysel

The Liverpool fans soon crossed the fence to charge towards the Italians, who tried to flee. Eventually, they were crushed under the terrace hemmed in by a wall.

Thirty-nine people died.

1985: Ground staff clear the aftermath of the Heysel disaster after the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium. It was the last game any English club was allowed to play in Europe for five years.   -  Getty Images

 

Fourteen Liverpool fans were found guilty of manslaughter and jailed, and all English clubs were banned from the competition for five years.

- EURO 2000 -

About 850 fans, almost all English, were detained after rioting in Brussels and Charleroi, Belgium, before England's Euro 2000 game against Germany. Fifty-six people were injured. UEFA threatened to throw England out of the competition.

The then UEFA president Lennart Johansson had castigated English fans and was quoted saying: "If it happens again like it did last night, it is over for England. This cannot go on. It will kill football."

RELATED: Euro 2020: England's forgotten Euros win over Germany

- EURO 2016 -

UEFA warned the English and Russian football associations of disqualification from EURO in case of a continuation of the fan violence that had injured several dozen people.

"Such unacceptable behaviour by so-called supporters of the national teams of England and Russia has no place in football, a sport we must protect and defend," a statement from UEFA had read.

- UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE, 2019 -

Police clashed with England fans in Porto after beer glasses were thrown in the special ‘fan-zone’ set up for the Nations League finals, British media had reported.

England’s Football Association (FA) urged supporters of the national team to stamp out “embarrassing” and anti-social behaviour.

The FA released a video called “Don’t be that idiot” to highlight examples of English hooliganism that have come to light in recent months, ending with a message from England manager Southgate encouraging supporters to make the country proud by being on their best behaviour.

 

- EURO 2020 -

English fans caused mayhem outside Wembley as they were caught assaulting Italian fans on camera.

England lost to Italy 3-2 on penalties, following which chaos ensued around the stadium and fans were seen beating people up and destroying public property.

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ALSO READ: Euro 2020: Champion Italy returns to Rome with trophy

British football hooliganism or the ‘English Disease’ may have transgressed from being “cancer to a cold sore,” as written by Sean Ingle in The Guardian, but its display, even in a coronavirus pandemic inflicted world, does not help in calling football a beautiful game.

Though arrests have been made for indiscipline throughout this year’s tournament, it will remain to be seen how much of it affects the ‘English Disease’ after all.

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