London Assembly member seeks Met assurances over Euro 2020 'disorder'

England's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game with team-mates dur

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring England's goal with team-mates during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match against Croatia. - Credit: PA

The borough’s London Assembly member has been assured that the police are prepared for potential football-related “violence and disorder”.

England is set to host Scotland at Wembley in their second fixture of the Euros 2020 tournament on Friday night (June 18), with police in both countries urging fans not to travel into London for the game if they don’t have a ticket.

London Assembly member for City and East, Unmesh Desai - who represents Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Tower Hamlets - said: “UEFA, in their wisdom, have scheduled the England-Scotland match for eight o’clock on a Friday evening.

“This could be seen by some fans as an excuse for an all-day drinking session, leading to potential violence and disorder on our streets.

“We are on the cusp of a potential third wave of the pandemic, so we must remain fully alert to the public health risks. 

“The last thing we want to see is an outbreak linked to the Euros, like the one we saw amongst fans travelling to Portugal for the Champions League final.”

Mr Desai sought assurances about policing from the Met's Deputy Commissioner, Sir Stephen House, at the City Hall plenary meeting on June 10. 

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Mr House claimed the Met is the most experienced force in the world at policing such events, with “a long, successful history” of doing so.

He went on to urge all fans “to behave properly and to control their drinking”, and insisted the Met is not being complacent about the risks of violence and to public health.

London Assembly member for City and East, Unmesh Desai 

London Assembly member for City and East, Unmesh Desai. - Credit: City Hall

Following the meeting, Mr Desai said: “There is a responsibility upon everyone to behave properly, protect each other and avoid getting caught up in public disorder.

“If everyone can do that, the Euros will be a great way to kick-off London’s summer.”

Last week, the Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor urged people to stick to government guidelines on social distancing and gatherings.

"Please, only come to London if you have a ticket for a match, fanzone or somewhere safe to watch the match," he said.

"There are no alternative sites for fans to gather in large numbers and there are limited spaces in pubs and bars."

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