A YOB hijacked a disabled child in a wheelchair to get into Wembley for the Euro 2020 Final amid violence and chaos which “could have cost many lives”, a report revealed yesterday.The heartless moron donned a hi-viz jacket to impersonate a steward and wheel the youngster away from his dad through a disabled entrance.
England fans without tickets gathered outside Wembley StadiumCredit: Reuters
A drunk fan was pictured with a flare in his bottom before the gameCredit: Elliott Franks
A probe led by Baroness Casey of Blackstock highlighted the horrific ruse among a string of “appalling” incidents on a day of “national shame” at the England v Italy game.
The dossier condemned the Football Association, the Metropolitan Police and local authorities over blunders which resulted in a “perfect storm” of lawlessness.
The damning report states: “That it should happen at our national stadium and on the day of our biggest game of football for 55 years is a source of national shame.”
Huge crowds of rowdy troublemakers had thronged the showpiece venue for hours before the 8pm kick-off on July 11, boozing wildly and openly snorting cocaine after Covid restrictions eased.
And 2,000 ticketless yobs stormed through security cordons before and during the match as police and security staff lost control.
Baroness Casey wrote of the wheelchair stunt: “In one appalling incident, 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.”
Describing the incident, the boy’s dad told the review: “He’s then taken my son’s wheelchair and pushed it towards the door.
“Just as we got to the door, we twigged what was going on and it turned out he’s just an England fan in a hi-viz jacket that was literally hijacking a wheelchair to get into the stadium.”
Baroness Casey added: “Disturbingly, it is clear that ticketless fans targeted disabled supporters in a predatory fashion near the turnstiles.”
The inquiry heard that concerns about supporters were raised by a Brent Council official who alerted colleagues, the FA, Wembley bosses and police as early as 9.02am.
His WhatsApp message read: “Talking to fans . . . none with tickets, just here for the occasion. Might be a big feature of the day.”
By noon, 10,000 fans had arrived around Wembley hoping to cheer Harry Kane and the England stars to a historic victory.
But transport staff were shocked by the drunken behaviour of some.
A London Underground official said: “I’ve been doing this for over a decade and have worked on various other celebratory events, including New Year’s Eve.
“I have never seen drunkenness like this so early on in the day.
“I remember walking into the control room at about 9am and there were England fans drinking as I walked in.
I have never seen drunkenness like this so early on in the day.London Underground official
“The alcohol was flowing. And I thought, ‘This is going to be a hard day’. I felt it was going to be really challenging.”
A probe by The Sun had exposed two Wembley stewards who attempted to sell their hi-viz bibs and security passes for £4,500 in a worrying security lapse.
The pair sauntered away from their posts at 4pm to meet a Sun investigator who tipped off police, leading to their arrest and prosecution.
Mounted police charged crowds soon afterwards in a vain bid to stop hundreds of fans storming and swarming through barriers.
An official at Brent Council — which was also criticised in the report — said at its height, the disorder resembled a “medieval siege”.
One witness told the review: “I saw bottles and cans being thrown at people, children cowering behind parents, trees being ripped up and thrown, people climbing on roofs and throwing things into crowds.”
Analysis showed 17 mass breaches as yobs gained entry by “tailgating” fans with tickets or forcing their way through disabled access gates and emergency fire doors.
The breaches stretched from 90 minutes before kick-off up to the penalty shoot-out at the end.
All agencies responsible for staging the final had been caught off-guard, the review found, with police deployed too late at 3pm — when crowds were already beginning to run riot.
Almost half of respondents to a fan survey detailed in the report saw drug-taking in and around the ground.
That this should happen anywhere in 21st-century Britain is a source of concern.Baroness Casey
Baroness Casey said the authorities’ “collective failure to foresee risk” turned the landmark event into a virtual war zone.
She added: “I am clear we were close to fatalities and life-changing injuries for some, potentially many, in attendance. That this should happen anywhere in 21st-century Britain is a source of concern.”
The report warned the chaos came close to causing a repeat of the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster which cost the lives of 97 Liverpool fans after a security breakdown.
Baroness Casey said: “Some of what happened was sadly foreseeable, even if the scale of it was not. The events at Hillsborough in 1989 have weighed heavily on my mind.”
She added after the report was published yesterday: “Our team of role models were in our first major final for 55 years.
“However they were let down by a horde of ticketless, drunken and drugged-up thugs who chose to abuse innocent, vulnerable and disabled people, as well as police, volunteers and Wembley staff, creating an appalling scene of disorder.
“We are genuinely lucky that there was not much more serious injury or worse.
“No one was fully prepared for what happened that day and it can’t be allowed to happen again.
Our team were let down by a horde of ticketless, drunken and drugged-up thugs who chose to abuse innocent, vulnerable and disabled people creating an appalling scene of disorder.Baroness Casey
“Law-abiding fans, our national team and our national game deserve better.”
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “The FA apologises for the terrible experience that many suffered within Wembley on what should have been a historic night for the game.
“The review makes clear that the circumstances leading up to the match led to a perfect storm of lawlessness.
“No event is set up to deal with such disgraceful behaviour from thousands of ticketless fans.
“Collectively, we must never allow this to happen again.”
The Met Police said yesterday it was “deeply sorry” so many people faced “unacceptable scenes of disorder”.
Commander Rachel Williams said the final was “tarnished by groups of ticketless, anti-social and thuggish football fans”.
She added: “We regret that we were not able to do more to prevent those scenes unfolding.”
Yobs attempt to get through a door meant for disabled access at Wembley StadiumCredit: Reuters
Security meltdown at Wembley as groups of thugs breach barriers and staff watch helplessly
England skipper Harry Kane applauds fans during the Euro 2020 final against ItalyCredit: AP
England boss Gareth Southgate consoles Bukayo Saka after his penalty miss in the finalCredit: Getty
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