Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 1°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

'What an idiot' - FA release video urging England fans to behave

‘You’re part of our team,’ England manager Gareth Southgate tells supporters. ‘Make the country proud.’

England Training Session and Press Conference - St George's Park England manager Gareth Southgate. Source: Tim Goode

ENGLAND MANAGER GARETH Southgate wants supporters to show their country in a good light as the Football Association launches a campaign targeting “stag-do culture” among fans ahead of next week’s Uefa Nations League Finals in Portugal.

Southgate’s team face Netherlands in Guimaraes next Thursday, with the possibility of a final against either Switzerland or hosts Portugal in Porto three days later, as the Three Lions continue to build on a surprise run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

However, that progress on the field has not always been mirrored away from stadiums, with instances of anti-social behaviour from travelling supporters marring England trips to Dortmund, Amsterdam and Seville over the past couple of years.

In a new short video, the FA has re-created instances of misbehaviour from football fans — namely throwing a bicycle into a canal, standing on a car bonnet and throwing beer in a bar — in formal social settings to highlight how unacceptable such actions are.

The film closes with Southgate telling supporters: “You’re part of our team. Make the country proud.”

FA head of security Tony Conniford expects around 15,000 England fans to be on the ground for the game against Netherlands at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques, which has a tournament capacity of 26,500.

The Three Lions will be involved in either a third-place match or final on Sunday, 8 June, by which time there will be an estimated 18,000 travelling fans from England in attendance.

“I have been involved in football now for 26 years in one role or another, with the police and the FA, and we have gone from the organised violence days to, more recently, a growing number who become involved in this anti-social behaviour,” Conniford said.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

“A lot of it is alcohol-fuelled and there almost becomes an acceptance that because you are at the football, anything goes. I find that difficult to buy into and people need to have a look at themselves and start to think, ‘If my relatives, wife or children were here with me, would it be an enjoyable experience?’ And the answer is ‘no’.”

Conniford, formerly assistant director at the UK Football Policing Unit, explained that “stag-do culture” has been identified as a problem among a section of England’s away support.

“I don’t want to stereotype people and put everybody into a box. That is very dangerous,” he said. “But it would be stupid to say we had not recognised groups of young, adult males booking together are the ones we are more concerned about. It’s that holiday, stag-do culture where young guys get together and suddenly anything goes.”

Between September 2013 and March 2019, the FA issued 127 suspensions and 237 warnings to members of the England Supporters’ Travel Club, which is approximately 13,000 strong.

Gavan Casey is joined by Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell for a review of the 2018/19 season, and cast an eye forward to next year and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel