Sadiq Khan grilled over scenes by Wembley for Euro 2020 final
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During a conference for the Aristide Merloni Foundation, Former European Commission President Romano Prodi blasted the behaviour of England fans. On Sunday, hundreds of ticketless fans appeared to storm Wembley Stadium, and other incidents were reported across London.
Speaking in the ‘From the Stability Pact to the Sustainability Pact’ conference, Mr Prodi was asked about the behaviour of England fans after the team’s defeat to Italy on penalties.
In a scathing attack on Britain, he said: “Did you think Brexit was just a political issue? It’s a cultural issue.”
The former Commission President had previously described Britain’s exit from the EU as a “mess”.
In 2019, he said: “I thought that during the negotiations we would have seen a United Kingdom vs a divided EU, while now we have a divided UK and a united Europe.”
Other EU officials twisted the knife in after England’s Euro defeat, mocking Brexit and praising Italy.
Italian MEP Alessandra Moretti wrote on Twitter: “Long live Italy, long live the blue champions of Europe! United Europe beats Brexit England!”
Spanish MEP Luis Garciano posted a video of people celebrating at a viewing party for his Mediterranean neighbours saying Brexit was “on the side of European Parliament”.
Ursula von der Leyen, current EU Commission President, shared a picture of herself with an Italian jersey bearing her name and 27 for the number of countries in the bloc ahead of the match.
The German national wished the Azzurri good luck and saying; “Fingers crossed for tonight’s Euro 2020 final.”
European papers and commentators condemned scenes from Sunday, noting fans appearing to storm Wembley and racist abuse directed to Marcus Rashford, Jason Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
Rafa de Miguel, El País’s London correspondent, said in his report: “Hundreds of hooligans clashed with the police at one of the Wembley entrances.
“They managed to jump the security fences and ended up on the floor in a disorderly scrum…beer bottles flew above the avenue that leads to the stadium and the floor was a corridor of broken glass and scattered rubbish.
“When the time came, and as tradition dictates, a good number of fans once again showed why it can be so hard for even those with the best will in the world to support the Three Lions.
“And you can’t blame Brexit. All you have to do is look at what happened on the streets.”
A number of fans without tickets for the Euro 2020 final on Sunday evening appeared to breach security barriers and storm into the national stadium in London.
Footage posted on social media showed people being attacked within the stadium concourses.
Reports have been circulating of some people without tickets being inside the ground for the entire match, and of ticket-holders being afraid to confront those occupying their seats.
The Metropolitan Police said they arrested 86 people connected to the match, including 53 at Wembley Stadium, for a range of reasons and that 19 officers had been injured as they confronted “volatile” crowds.
Additional reporting from Maria Ortega
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