•Wembley Security Beefed Up
•Fans Believe ‘Football Is Coming Home’
The Football Association will increase the number of stewards on duty at Wembley for tomorrow’s European Championship final between England and Italy after hundreds of ticketless fans got into the ground for England’s semi-final victory over Denmark.
Despite checkpoints for assessing each fan’s COVID-19 status around the perimeter, stewards were unable to prevent some supporters from storming the stadium and gaining access without showing tickets.
All tickets for tomorrow’s final have been sold out other than returns, though there were none listed on the UEFA website as of Thursday, leaving desperate England fans to scour the black market. The highest-priced tickets available on eBay were listed at £15,000 for a pair, despite UEFA’s attempts to crack down on touts.
In addition, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has put one pair of tickets up for grabs to those signing up for a first Covid-19 vaccine in the next 24 hours, as an incentive to get young people jabbed.
During the semifinal on Wednesday, the additional fans were accommodated easily enough because Wembley’s capacity was set at 66,000 as the match is part of the Government’s mass events COVID trial, but the FA are eager to avoid a repeat in what will be England’s biggest match for 55 years against Italy tomorrow.
The final match is billed for 8pm. Italy has looked the pick of the teams through the course of the tournament, though they had to resort to extra time and penalties to finally overcome Spain in the first Semifinal on Tuesday night.
England’s forward Raheem Sterling (C) fights for the ball with Denmark’s midfielder Thomas Delaney (L) and Denmark’s defender Andreas Christensen during the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)
The Three Lions are into their first European Championship Final and a first major tournament final since they won the World Cup 55 years ago. With home support at Wembley, England finally, truly believes that ‘football is coming home’.
Football fans will enjoy pre and post-match analysis of the match by former Nigerian professional footballers and European stars, including Jay-Jay Okocha and Joseph Yobo, as part of SuperSport extensive coverage of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
In addition to extra security, the FA have asked stewards to be more thorough in checking each fan’s COVID status after receiving complaints that many were simply ushered through checkpoints after waving their mobile phones.
As part of the trial run in conjunction with the Government’s Events Research Programme fans must produce evidence of having received two COVID-19 vaccinations or a negative test within the last 24 hours in order to access the stadium, but many supporters at Wembley on Wednesday evening got into the ground without being checked.
Supporters arriving at the stadium are required to pass through two checkpoints. The first is the Covid status checkpoint well outside the ground, where each fan must display evidence of being double-jabbed or a recent negative coronavirus test. Fans have told Sportsmail that some stewards were left checking multiple people at once during the busiest entry times, so were unlikely able to thoroughly perform the checks.
The second checkpoint is for match tickets and is at the turnstiles, which provide entry to the stadium itself. The tickets are scanned electronically and allow just one person entry per ticket, although it is possible that two people, depending on their size, could squeeze in at once through the revolving barrier.