The Football Association will increase the number of stewards on duty at Wembley for Sunday’s European Championship final after hundreds of ticketless fans got into the ground for England’s semi-final victory over Denmark.
Despite checkpoints for assessing each fan’s Covid-19 status around the perimeter, stewards were unable to prevent some supporters storming the stadium and gaining access without showing tickets.
The additional fans were accommodated easily enough because Wembley’s capacity was set at 66,000 as the semi-final is part of the Government’s mass events Covid trial, but the FA are eager to avoid a repeat in what will be England’s biggest match for 55 years against Italy on Sunday.
The Football Association will increase the number of stewards in place for the Euro 2020 final
Some ticketless fans have been able to get past both the Covid and ticket checkpoints to enter
In addition to extra security, the FA have asked stewards to be more thorough in checking each fan’s Covid status after receiving complaints that many were simply ushered through checkpoints after waving their mobile phones.
As part of the trial run in conjunction with the Government’s Events Research Programme fans must produce evidence of having received two Covid-19 vaccinations or a negative test within the last 24 hours in order to access the stadium, but many supporters at Wembley on Wednesday evening got into the ground without being checked.
Supporters arriving at the stadium are required to pass through two checkpoints. The first is the Covid status checkpoint well outside the ground, where each fan must display evidence of being double-jabbed or a recent negative coronavirus test. Fans have told Sportsmail that some stewards were left checking multiple people at once during the busiest entry times, so were unlikely able to thoroughly perform the checks.
The second checkpoint is for match tickets and is at the turnstiles, which provide entry to the stadium itself. The tickets are scanned electronically and allow just one person entry per ticket, although it is possible that two people, depending on their size, could squeeze in at once through the revolving barrier. Their entry would also require security staff on the inside of the stadium ignoring this.
All tickets for the final have been sold out other than returns, though there were none listed on the UEFA website on Thursday, leaving desperate England fans to scour the black market. The highest priced tickets available on eBay were listed at £15,000 for a pair, despite UEFA’s attempts to crack down on touts.
In addition, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has put one pair of tickets up for grabs to those signing up for a first Covid-19 vaccine in the next 24 hours, as an incentive to get young people jabbed.
Stewards were unable to prevent some supporters from storming the stadium on Wednesday
The FA have also asked stewards to be more thorough when checking each fan’s Covid status
Any Londoners who post on social media about having booked or received their first dose will be automatically entered into a draw for tickets.
Italy have been given an allocation of 9,000 tickets for the Euros final, though only 1,000 will be permitted to enter the country from overseas, with 8,000 tickets reserved for UK-based Azzurri fans.
An arrangement between the British and Italian governments will limit travelling fans to 12 hours on UK soil, with special charter flights and transport laid on to get them to Wembley with minimal contact with others.
They must also give negative Covid tests before and after the journey and isolate for five days when they return to Italy.
Harry Kane and Co will be cheered on by 66,000 fans against Italy in the final on Sunday