Mike Tindall, a former England rugby player, has told of breaking up a confrontation between bloodied supporters during the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium.
After a match marred by violent scenes and ticketless fans storming the stadium, England fell 3-2 on penalties to Italy on Sunday.
As tempers boiled in the portion of the ground where Tindall and his wife Zara Tindall, the Queen’s granddaughter, were sitting, Tindall felt obligated to intercede.
“A man was there the whole time, smashed out of his face, didn’t watch any of the game,” the 2003 Rugby World Cup winner confessed on his co-hosted podcast The Good, The Bad, and the Rugby.
“He was just too busy shouting at supporters that they should be up on their feet, and he ended up getting into a fight with another one who was just behind my seat.” “It came to the point where this man was literally trying to pile this person in the face, there was a kid next to us, there was a kid on the other side sobbing because he couldn’t watch the game because of all the guys standing in the [gangway], and it got to the point where this guy was literally trying to
“I just separated these men and asked one of them, ‘What are you doing? Just what are you doing?’ And he strolled off with blood all over him.”
The FA is undertaking a complete inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the ill-fated final, while Uefa, European football’s regulatory body, has hired an investigator to conduct its own investigation into “activities involving supporters that occurred inside and around the stadium.”
Uefa has also filed allegations against the FA for further inside-the-stadium fan disturbances.
Invasion of the pitch, throwing of items, booing the Italian national anthem, and igniting a firecracker were among the offenses.
Before the Euro 2020 final, England fans gather outside Wembley Stadium.
The FA and Uefa are investigating the events leading up to and following the match.
On Thursday, peers in the House of Lords interrogated the government on Sunday’s police operation, with one Home Office minister expressing thankfulness that no one was murdered when fans without tickets forced their way into Wembley Stadium.
In the stampede, Baroness Williams of Trafford informed peers that it was a “really wonderful thing” that “nobody was more harmed than they were.”
“It’s a terrible tragedy that a few people have destroyed it for the majority of people,” she said, adding, “and it’s also of great regret that our courageous police officers were injured on the day.”
“Some of the stewarding on the day was insufficient,” Williams admitted, but stressed that this had not been an issue for the “great majority” of Euro 2020 games held at Wembley.
“To put it in context, that is the size of an average-sized police force,” she said, adding that over 2,000 police officers had been deployed to Wembley for the final.