England supporters urged to keep away as Southgate’s team arrive home with no fanfare

FA believed to have requested a low-key homecoming because of security restrictions

Some fans defied requests to stay away and watched the England team's plane land
Some fans defied requests to stay away and watched the England team's plane land

The England football team were hailed as heroes as they arrived home from the World Cup – but there were no celebrations as fans were told to keep away.

The squad, who gave the best Cup performance by England in 28 years, flew into Birmingham with their heads held high after reaching fourth place.

On social media, hundreds of people said they deserved “a heroes’ welcome”.

But there was no fanfare or welcoming party for the players, as airport chiefs warned wellwishers not to turn up.

Raheem Sterling (centre) leaves the plane after it touched down, surrounded by security officers

Airport bosses said the FA had requested that there be no fanfare, and insisted there was no public viewing area.

Fans said the players had restored pride in English football and hope for future tournaments after they reached the semi-final.

But Birmingham Airport managers were accused of poor public relations when they tweeted: “Please be aware that there will be no public viewing area to see the England football team arrive home so we strongly advise the public not to come to Birmingham Airport as you will not see the team. Thank you for your cooperation.”

They added: “We haven’t made the decision to not arrange a homecoming. We’re handling the flight as the FA asked & the area of the airport doesn’t lend itself to a viewing area. We understand you want to welcome the team but you’ll not be able to see them.”

One disappointed fan, Chris Mitchell, replied: “Just as the nation re-engages with their national side for the 1st time in a generation, Birmingham Airport & @FA come up with this shambles. When exactly will the fans be able to congratulate the team on such a fantastic tournament? Short-sighted with fans once again missing out.”

The FA is believed to have requested a low-key homecoming on security restrictions. Gareth Southgate also said he wanted to keep their arrival low-key.

However, Southgate and his team will be celebrated officially later: Downing Street said earlier this week that Theresa May wanted to honour them with a reception at 10 Downing Street.

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