Euro 2022: Police make only two arrests linked to women’s final at Wembley after men’s tournament chaos

Contrast with Euros men’s final in 2021 that saw drunkenness, drug-taking and disorder by ticketless England fans

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Editor
Monday 01 August 2022 15:13 BST
Euro 2022 final: Lionesses make history with 2-1 win against Germany

Police arrested only two people in connection with the women’s Euros final at Wembley Stadium, a year after mass disorder at the end of the men’s tournament.

On the day the England men’s team lost to Italy in July 2021, 86 people were arrested in London - including 53 at Wembley - for offences including assault, vandalism and being drunk and disorderly.

Nineteen police officers were injured in ugly scenes, as thousands of ticketless fans forced their way into the stadium.

When the women’s side beat Germany to win the UEFA European Women's Championship 2022 on Sunday, just two arrests were made at Wembley and none in the Trafalgar Square fan zone, where thousands celebrated the historic triumph.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said one man was fined for a public order offence and a second man was released with no further action.

No major issues were reported by authorities at Wembley Stadium, who had tightened up their security operation - with an increased number of stewards and police officers - following a damning report into last year’s chaos.

A spokesperson said: “The safety and security of fans at Wembley Stadium is of paramount importance and we have robust security measures in place before, during and after all events at the stadium.

“The safety and security requirements for each event at Wembley Stadium is assessed individually.”

The joyous and orderly scenes on Sunday were widely contrasted to the final of the men’s Euros 2020, which were delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic and took place shortly before the total lifting of restrictions in England.

Fans writing on Twitter described a “fantastic” and “family-friendly atmosphere”, with BBC presenter Natalie Pirks remarking: “Just left Wembley en route to Trafalgar. There were no mounds of litter, no overwhelming stench of urine, no trampled barriers.

“My children came last night and any anxiety I had ended when I experienced the beautiful family, happy atmosphere. Can it always be like this, please?”

A review commissioned by the FA into the events of 11 July 2021 said there were a “series of ‘near misses’ which could have led to significant injuries or even death”, and that the scenes at the national stadium was a “source of national shame”.

Dame Louise Casey condemned “drunkenness, drug-taking, irresponsibility, criminality, and the abuse of innocent people – including staff, families, and disabled ticket holders” by England fans, while the tournament was marred by reports of xenophobic attacks on Italians and race hate crimes against England players.

The review found that approximately 2,000 people gained entry to the stadium without tickets during the men’s Euros final, while the main approach to the stadium became “an unlicensed fan zone, with widespread drug use and over 31 tonnes of rubbish left”.

It criticised football authorities and the police for failing to plan for the worst case scenario, saying some of the problems could have been foreseen when fan zones were not provided and Wembley seats were not being filled because of Covid restrictions.

Sunday’s women’s final was held under different circumstances, with the stadium at capacity and organised fan zones and watching events set up.

Higher numbers of police officers and stewards were stationed along the Olympic Way approach and inside the stadium, security was enhanced at entry points and enhanced ticket checks were carried out on the approach to turnstiles.

The Euros came amid concern about reports of a rise in football-related disorder and violence across the country, sparking new sanctions including club bans for people using fireworks and flares, invading pitches, using drugs or throwing objects.

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