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Euro 2020: Police Were 'Told' to Ignore Ticketless Fans to Protect Force's 'Image', Officer Claims

© REUTERS / LEE SMITHSoccer Football - Euro 2020 - Final - Fans gather for Italy v England - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 11, 2021 Picture taken July 11, 2021 England fans throw barriers outside Wembley Stadium during the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Final - Fans gather for Italy v England - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 11, 2021 Picture taken July 11, 2021 England fans throw barriers outside Wembley Stadium during the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.07.2021
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The epic showdown on 11 July that pitted England against Italy gathered tens of thousands of fans at Wembley. A portion of them effortlessly gained entry to the stadium without a ticket, according to reports, and the police were reluctant to stop them - because they were instructed not to engage, one officer told The Times.
Police were ordered to avoid using force when dealing with ticketless football fans who forced their way into Wembley Stadium during the England vs Italy match on 11 July, a Metropolitan Police officer has told The Times.
The policeman claimed that he and his colleagues were instructed not to intervene with the swarms of fans, unlawfully entering the arena, to uphold the force's "brand image".
"It is just annoying we are held back from doing our job. We are in public order gear for a reason", the officer complained. 
According to the cop, the level of the police's preparedness for the event was rather low as the force deployed many inexperienced officers to the event and left Wembley considerably undermanned.
© REUTERS / LEE SMITHEngland fans outside Wembley Stadium after Italy wins the Euro 2020 final
England fans outside Wembley Stadium after Italy wins the Euro 2020 final - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
England fans outside Wembley Stadium after Italy wins the Euro 2020 final
Reports emerged earlier this week that up to 5,000 fans illegally entered Wembley by tailgating those with a ticket, breaching exit doors or disabled entrances, and bribing security guards.
On 11 July, England faced Italy in the final of 2020 Euro tournament. This was the first time England had reached a Euro final in its history, but it was unable to land the trophy, after a penalty shootout handed Italy the win.
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