‘It was a complete mess’: London streets littered with rubbish morning after Euro 2020 final

Mess left behind in Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square was ‘terrible’ and ‘disgusting’, people in area say

Zoe Tidman
Monday 12 July 2021 14:58 BST
Clean-up underway in London following Euro 2020 final

A man staggers outside a theatre near Leicester Square on Monday morning.

It looks – just like football – as though he hasn’t come home just yet.

Even though there were no victory celebrations for England fans, beer bottles and cans line the streets of central London the morning after the night before.

A huge clean-up is underway to remove rubbish left by crowds who had gathered to watch the Euro 2020 final, which saw England lose to Italy on penalties.

“It was a complete mess,” Ola Olawale says about Leicester Square, as he uses a long stick to try to reach beer bottles that have somehow appeared on top of the restaurant where he works.

A worker cleans up Leicester Square on Monday morning

“It was really, really disgusting.”

He says he thinks fans were trying to get on top of the restaurant, which was how the empty bottles ended up there.

Around him, workers clear up rubbish still left in the square, where footage from Sunday evening has shown fans throwing bottles and the ground covered in litter.

Olawale says workers have done a “wonderful” job of getting the square back to the condition it was in, shortly before 8am.

In nearby Chinatown, plastic bottles, beer cans and food line the streets, and bin bags sit in the middle of pavements.

Litter lines the streets of London’s Chinatown district

And a short walk away in Trafalgar Square, where crowds gathered for the final, more work is under way to clean up the area.

A cone sits on the head of a statue of George IV on horseback, which is surrounded by pockets of litter.

Omer Siraj, who works in a nearby Pret, tells The Independent that fans placed a cone on the statue and draped it in an England flag after England’s semi-final win against Denmark.

He says the mess in the area was “terrible” on Monday morning. By 8am, it is largely clean, except for the odd clump of rubbish on the pavement and the grass outside the National Gallery.

Huge crowds of people were in party mode across London throughout Sunday, proudly sporting England’s team colours and draped in England flags.

Some boisterous supporters even climbed on top of a bus outside Wembley, while others outside King’s Cross station in the capital let off red and white smoke during the build-up.

The Metropolitan Police said they made 49 arrests on Sunday for a “variety of offences” and that 19 officers were injured “while they confronted volatile crowds”.

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