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England hit with stadium ban for Euro 2020 final

England have been hit with a two-game stadium ban and a €100,000 ($116,000) fine by UEFA after crowd trouble marred July’s Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley.

The country’s first appearance in a major tournament final for 55 years was overshadowed by ugly scenes as thousands of fans stormed the barriers without tickets to gain access to the stadium.

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UEFA’s Control Ethics and Disciplinary Body conducted an investigation which concluded on Monday — after FA representatives appeared via video link to argue their case — with a widely-anticipated heavy sanction, albeit with the second match suspended for two years.

A statement from the CEDB confirmed their intention to “order the English Football Association to play its next two (2) UEFA competition matches as host association behind closed doors, the second of which is suspended for a probationary period of two years from the date of the present decision, for the lack of order and discipline inside and around the stadium.”

The statement added: “A fine [for] the English Football Association [of] €100,000 for the lack of order and discipline inside and around the stadium, for the invasion of the field of play, for throwing of objects and for the disturbances during the national anthems.”

England’s play Albania at Wembley in November but that match falls under FIFA’s jurisdiction as a World Cup qualifier and so the fixture Gareth Southgate’s side will play without supporters is set to be an as yet undetermined UEFA Nations League group game next June — 11 months after the original incident.

England will find out which fixture will be played behind closed doors after the draw for the 2022-23 Nations League is made on Dec. 16.

Capacity was reduced from 90,000 to 60,000 for the Euro 2020 final due to coronavirus restrictions and supporters who sensed an opportunity to watch the final fought with stewards and police officers while entrances were forced open.

There were multiple reports of fans with tickets arriving to find people already occupying their seats and at kick-off, there were hundreds of supporters blocking gangways and stairways.

England defender Harry Maguire‘s father was left with rib injuries after being trampled on during the final, which England lost to Italy in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw.

The FA reacted to UEFA’s announcement on Monday with their own statement, referencing their own inquiry into the circumstances around the final.

“Although we are disappointed with the verdict, we acknowledge the outcome of this UEFA decision,” the statement began.

“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. We continue to work with the relevant authorities in support of their efforts to take action against those responsible and hold them to account.”

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