A damning report into the violence at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley this summer found that England fans endangered lives with their reckless behaviour. Dame Louise Casey’s review found that there was a “perfect storm of lawlessness” at Wembley, which put the lives of fans at risk. However, one witness, a Solent University sports journalism lecturer, appeared to tie the violence to Brexit.
Speaking to LBC, Graham Hiley said that the lawlessness on display was “more than passion for the team, it was that kind of nationalistic, jingoistic, almost Brexit fervour”.
Describing his experience, Mr Hiley said: “It was a nightmare. Ticket-less, drunken, drugged-up fans pushing, shoving, causing mayhem. It was horrific.
“I’ve been to matches all around the world but I’ve never seen anything like that.
“There was a nasty edge to it. It was about violence.”
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He continued: “It was more than passion for the team, it was that kind of nationalistic, jingoistic, almost Brexit fervour.
“It wasn’t just that we had to win, it was that everyone else had to lose.”
The Brexit remark sparked outrage from listeners as @GaryGadsden tweeted in response: “Obsessed left-wing remainer still has to link anything and everything back to Brexit.”
@fizzy_Plato echoed this: “Brexit to blame for England fan disorder in July, apparently.”
The report’s statement continued: “A minority of England supporters turned what should have been a day of national pride into a day of shame.
“The threats, aggression, violence, smoke and flare use, throwing of missiles — including faeces — excessive consumption of alcohol and cocaine all combined to fuel a febrile atmosphere.
“A loss of experienced stewards as a result of the pandemic left Wembley’s stewarding operation vulnerable when confronted with the most aggressive and disorderly crowd Wembley had ever seen.”
Fans were even found to have exploited disabled England fans in order to secure entry into the stadium.
The report noted: “A ticketless fan tried to impersonate a steward and hijack a disabled child and separated him from his father, in order to trick his way through a pass gate.”