This week UEFA has confirmed to impose the Wembley Stadium ban after the disciplinary investigation towards the shameful scene inside and outside the stadium in EURO 2020 final. This is surely humiliating and must be considered as a warning for FA to cope with hooliganism immediately before it gets worse.
The stadium ban is set for England to play behind closed doors in two games of UEFA fixtures with the second one held within the two-year probation. In addition, England FA has been suspended for paying €100,000 fine by European football governing body regarding the 'lack of order and discipline'.
FA released the statement on this decision:
"Although we are disappointed with the verdict, we acknowledge the outcome of this UEFA decision. We condemn the terrible behaviour of the individuals who caused the disgraceful scenes in and around Wembley Stadium at the Euro 2020 final, and we deeply regret that some of them were able to enter the stadium. We are determined that this can never be repeated, so we have commissioned an independent review, led by Baroness Casey, to report on the circumstances involved."
This ban means that the next fixtures in World Cup qualifiers plus a possible friendly match against Germany in March would not be affected. Gareth Southgate's men are likely to serve the suspension in the UEFA Nations League matches next year.
Such sanction is a serious warning for FA considering the act of hooliganism seems to reappear in English soil. The storming ticketless fans, which was said to be around hundreds or even a thousand and have taken drugs or been drunk, into the venues leading to the riots against the security guards, occupying the seats of fans holding tickets, throwing objects into the pitch and booing Italian national anthem before the game in EURO 2020 final are clearly signs of the horror in English football which once tainted their reputation.
Back then, in the mid 1980s, English clubs were banned for five years in any continental competition due to their involvement in Heysel Tragedy during the 1985 UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Juventus. The Reds' supporters were convicted guilty of killing 39 Juventus and Belgian fans in a riot at Heysel Stadium (now renamed as King Baudoin Stadium). The absence of English teams from 1985 to 1990 did play a role at the dawn of English glory in the continent, especially Liverpool, which was banned for six years. Initially, Ian Rush and Co had been forced to be banished from Europe for ten years before being reduced.
Surely, such would be the last thing FA have in mind. Such chaotic scene in Wembley has put UK-Ireland World Cup 2030 bid campaign in danger. If FA does not act swiftly to eradicate hooliganism, the risk of ruining English football itself will be bigger and eventually the future of their so-called golden generation can be at stake.