England’s defeat to Italy wasn’t the only reason for the Euro 2020 final being a sad day for the country.
That’s because the build-up to the match was marred by shocking scenes at the iconic Wembley Way and across London.
A number of ticketless fans managed to get into Wembley stadium and watch the match, the Daily Mail reporting that loved ones of the England players found their seats were taken by individuals who had illegally entered the ground.
There were similarly unsavoury scenes across the capital, particularly in Leicester Square, while Three Lions stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were subject to racist abuse after missing penalties in the shootout which led to England’s defeat.
It’s since been revealed by the the National Police Chiefs’ Council Football Policing Lead that police dealt with a record number of incidents following the final.
talkSPORT’s Adrian Durham and Darren Bent were at Boxpark in Wembley on Sunday afternoon and shed light on the scenes they saw.
“I got there at 1:30/2 and it was already completely an utterly rammed. It was insane,” Durham said. “It looked like it was hijinks, good fun – there was a traffic cone being thrown in the air!
“At around about 3:30pm it started to get really heavy, a bit nasty. There was an aggressive air around the place and that kind of eased off at five o’clock and a little more normal and less aggressive and less tense.
“At six o’clock I left Boxpark in Wembley and going to the stadium it was like walking through a sea of crushed cans and broken glass. It was horrendous.”
Meanwhile, Bent said it was ‘like World War 3 has broken out’ at Wembley.
“It’s sad to say but it felt like all the idiots came out for the final,” Bent said. “First final in 55 years and they just want to cause mayhem, climbing on top of food stands, people had to shut down merchandise stands.
“I was at Boxpark for the first couple of games, including Scotland. Scotland’s a rivalry but it felt like there was generally a good feeling between both sets of supporters. When we played Denmark, nice feeling and nice environments.
“We get to the final and it’s like World War 3 had broken out. The flares going off, the bottles landing on top of the balcony that we were standing on, it was embarrassing.”
This isn’t the first time England fans letting themselves down at major tournaments has reared its ugly head but talkSPORT’s Darren Gough is still shocked at how things got out of control in the capital.
“Every tournament you go to, fans behave differently, I don’t know why,” he said. “We [Darren and Adrian] experienced it in France [at Euro 2016], first-hand, didn’t we?
“Unfortunately we all like to party and when you get large groups and they start off singing – and sing off great songs and they’re brilliant – but when it crosses that line we like to celebrate from nine o’clock in the morning when the game’s not until eight at night. Come on, on a Sunday? What do you think is going to happen?
“Not just Wembley Way, did you see the pictures of central London? That was even worse… these people can’t control themselves, they feel the need to pick up tables and chairs and throw them, what’s all that about?”