The Metropolitan Police have issued a dispersal order giving officers the power to remove troublemakers from central London as 20,000 Scotland football supporters flood into the capital ahead of tomorrow’s Euro 2020 clash against England at Wembley Stadium.
Thousands of fans draped in flags and wearing Scotland jerseys have been pouring off sold-out trains in the capital before the 8pm kick-off tomorrow – despite just 2,800 tickets being sold to Scotland football supporters for the much-anticipated clash with the Auld Enemy.
London pubs are cancelling reservations for Scotland fans after London Mayor Sadiq Khan told 20,000 supporters to stay home and ‘enjoy the game from Scotland’ if they do not have tickets. He previously said supporters would provide a needed boost to London’s hard-hit hospitality sector.
The Mayor’s warnings that the influx of people would cause a ‘serious risk’ of spreading Covid-19 prompted pubs to cancel bookings, while London Ambulance Service admitted it had no plans to have an increased amount of medics on standby in case of a mass party at Hyde Park.
Scotland Yard has now issued a dispersal order today until Saturday afternoon, in anticipation of ‘anti-social behaviour’. A force spokesman tweeted: ‘Due to the high profile UEFA EURO Football match between England & Scotland on Friday 18th June at 8pm and the anticipated anti-social behaviour this may bring, a section 35 dispersal authority has been implemented.
‘This has been authorised by Inspector Dodds from 1500 hours 17/06/21 till 1500 hours 19/06/21 in the West End area in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of members of the public being caused alarm harassment and distress and the occurrence of criminality in the local area.’
Vast swathes of fans – several not wearing masks – were seen flooding off trains as they arrived in the capital
One man appeared to have climbed on top of a sign in King’s Cross Station in London as fans gathered
Scottish Football supporters arrive at Kings Cross Station today ahead of the England vs Scotland Euro 2020 football match tomorrow
And with no fan zone for those without tickets at Wembley, questions have been raised about where the droves of fans (some pictured) will go tomorrow – especially as forecasted rain is set to make outside spaces a no-go
A significant number of police attended at King’s Cross Station today to make sure the football crowd did not get out of hand
One fan was seen smiling with a hat and Scottish flag as fans gathered at King’s Cross Station in the capital
Women travelling to London from Waverley Station, Edinburgh, are seen posing with a Scottish flag
Mr Khan said: ‘Scottish fans are renowned around the world for bringing a party atmosphere with them to the big tournaments but with COVID restrictions still in place on both sides of the border, the best thing for fans without tickets to the game or a safe place to watch it is to enjoy the game from Scotland and not come to London.
‘In an ideal world I would welcome the Tartan Army to London for this match with open arms – but with Covid cases increasing, and with so much at stake as we fight this awful virus, I’m afraid that it just cannot be this time, so the best thing to do is not to come to London and instead enjoy the game at home.’
In February, the Mayor said he wants to see Scots ‘coming down to London to watch the Scotland-England game’ and said Euro 2020 will be a ‘springboard to a recovery, particularly if it’s domestic fans only’.
Many booked pub visits well in advance to get the best deals. But, after Mr Khan’s more cautious approach this week, many pubs have retracted bookings – with fans claiming it was down to their Scottish post codes.
Supporter Gary Ayton told MyLondon: ‘Sadiq Khan said he wants the Scotland fans to travel down; ‘feel free to come in book pubs, it will be good for tourism’, so everyone has done it, then literally a week later, they’re saying ‘if you’ve not got a ticket don’t travel’.’
All 32 trains departing Edinburgh and Glasgow for the capital on Friday are fully booked, and southbound services from Manchester are also extremely busy.
And all bar one train arriving from Glasgow on Thursday were sold out today, meaning the influx of fans has begun more than 24 hours before kick off.
And with no fan zone for those without tickets at Wembley, questions have been raised about where the droves of fans will go tomorrow – especially as forecasted rain is set to make outside spaces a no-go.
The rule of six and strict social distancing measures are still in force indoors, meaning those hoping to watch the match from pubs and sports bars to shelter from the downpour could be facing disappointment.
Jeering fans chant as they gather at Central Station before boarding trains to London on June 17 – ahead of the match tomorrow
Fans climb on top of benches and signs in King’s Cross Station after arriving in London ahead of tomorrow’s match
Droves of fans were seen at King’s Cross Station today. Many did not wear masks as they walked along the platform
Scottish football supporters – one clutching a bottle of Buckfast – look jovial as they wait in King’s Cross Station today
Scotland fans at Central station in Glasgow as they prepare to travel to London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium
Scotland fans at Central station in Glasgow before their journey to London today
Two young Scotland fans wearing matching kilts and jerseys were seen in Central Station, Glasgow, before boarding trains to London
Scotland football supporters gathered at Central Station before boarding trains to London on June 17. The match against England is tomorrow
Fans chanted and sung as they walked along the platform in London today
Scotland fans are seen posing on board a flight heading into London ahead of the Euro 2020 clash at Wembley tomorrow
Meanwhile, footage taken onboard planes flying into London showed rows of passengers singing Yes Sir I Can Boogie by Baccara – a song unofficially adopted as an anthem by Scotland fans
Footage taken at King’s Cross Station showed droves of Scotland fans – several wearing blue football kits – disembarking their train. Several chanted ‘we’ll be coming down the road’, a Scotland Football Team song.
Huge crowds were seen gathered outside the station, with Met Police officers on guard in case the festivities got out of hand.
Meanwhile, footage taken onboard planes flying into London showed rows of passengers singing Yes Sir I Can Boogie by Baccara – a song unofficially adopted as an anthem by Scotland fans.
Tomorrow’s highly anticipated match marks the first clash between the two teams in four years.
Scotland fans are already flooding into London ahead of the nation’s clash against England at Wembley tomorrow night – with the Tartan Army selling out trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh
As many as 6,000 Scots are expected to descend on the capital by Friday, according to the Scottish Football Supporters Association – while other estimates put the figure at 20,000. Left: A Scotland fan arriving by train. Right: Two visiting supporters posing in front of the Houses of Parliament
Footage taken at King’s Cross Station showed droves of Scotland fans – several wearing blue football kits – disembarking their train
Several chanted ‘we’ll be coming down the road’, a Scotland Football Team song
Sadiq Khan this week performed a u-turn on Scottish fans travelling up to London. Pictured: Fans heading to London on a coach
Crowds of people were seen arriving in London today. Several train passengers did not wear face masks
Football fans cheered as they exited through the turnstiles in King’s Cross Station in London today
Some fans wore traditional kilts with their football jerseys – even though kickoff isn’t until tomorrow
It is thought that Scotland will join England in taking a knee to protest racial inequality during Friday’s game. Pictured: Scotland fans at King’s Cross Station today
This week, ticketless Scotland supporters (fans pictured today) were urged to stay away from Wembley for the match – with Sadiq Khan performing a u-turn on Scottish fans travelling down to London
After previously welcoming fans as a much-needed boost to the capital’s hard-hit hospitality industry, the London mayor said they pose a ‘serious risk’ to spreading Covid. Pictured: Fans arriving today
Hundreds of Met Police officers will form a ring of steel at Wembley to prevent ticketless fans accessing the stadium. Pictured: Police at King’s Cross Station as fans arrived today
Huge crowds were seen gathered outside the station, with Met Police officers on guard in case the festivities got out of hand
The mayor’s warning came amid concerns that those without tickets could meet in Hyde Park for a mass party after the match – with London Ambulance bosses putting the potential meet up ‘on their radar’. Pictured: Fans arriving today
There will also be a significant police presence in tourist areas of such as Trafalgar Square, as well as at King’s Cross (pictured today) and Euston stations
London Ambulance Service urged visitors to be sensible with their drinking but said it has ‘no plans’ to have an increased amount of medics on standby
Mr Khan said: ‘Scottish fans are renowned around the world for bringing a party atmosphere with them to the big tournaments but with COVID restrictions still in place on both sides of the border, the best thing for fans without tickets to the game or a safe place to watch it is to enjoy the game from Scotland and not come to London’. Pictured: Fans in London today
Mr Khan added: ‘In an ideal world I would welcome the Tartan Army to London for this match with open arms – but with Covid cases increasing, and with so much at stake as we fight this awful virus, I’m afraid that it just cannot be this time, so the best thing to do is not to come to London and instead enjoy the game at home.’ Pictured: Fans at King’s Cross station today
There are also concerns about Scotland fans infiltrating the home areas of the stadium as tickets are still changing hands on various resale websites. Pictured: Scotland fans in London today
Supporters were draped in flags as they waited to board trains in Glasgow today
Police were seen at Central Station in Glasgow before football fans boarded trains to London
Most fans arriving today admitted they did not have a ticket for the crunch Euro match at Wembley against England and said they would watch the game at a pub.
John McCormak, 35, said ‘ There was no chance of a ticket, but me and two mates decided to come anyway. It’s a great away day and will be made all the sweeter if we win’
Mr McCormak, from Glasgow, said he was staying in a budget hotel near Victoria Station.
‘It’s a rip off with the price, but the cheapest I could find, I’ve been down before and there’s a good sports bar nearby which will do me,’ he added.
His friend Andy Allen 37, said: ‘Playing England at Wembley is the one match any Scot fan wants to attend. It’s criminal that more tickets were not made available.’
Between noon and 6pm six trains from Glasgow arrived at Euston. Others – equally packed with fans – arrived at Kings Cross station.
Fans were seen holding bottles of beer and clutching suitcases ahead of boarding trains to London
Football fans beam as they pose for a picture ahead of the Scotland vs England match tomorrow night
Football supporters are seen cheering and chanting outside King’s Cross Station in central London
Scotland supporters were seen chanting as they made their way along the platform in Glasgow before boarding the train to London
Fans wearing kilts chanted and punched the air as they walked down the platform in Glasgow today
Two young Scotland supporters wearing matching kilts and pushing a suitcase were seen walking along in Glasgow station
Ticketless fans said they had booked a place at a pub showing the match as part of a package. Others said they planned to find a pub in central London that would house them rather than travel out to Wembley Stadium for the 8pm kick off.
Sandy Blake 26, said he planned to spend the night on a friend’s sofa and watch the match at a North London pub.
Wearing a kilt and a Scottish football jersey, he said the three day trip would cost him £400.
He said: ‘I’ve got a ticket to watch in a pub near my hotel. Costing me between £300 and £400. If we win, money well spent.’
After the five-and-a-half hour train journey from Glasgow, most fans headed straight to their accommodation. One group of six friends had accommodation booked at a Premier Inn close to Wembley.
Martin Yarrew, 25, said he had reserved a room as soon as the Euro draw was made and faced months of uncertainty about whether he would be able to travel due to Covid restrictions.
He said: ‘To be honest, I’m just glad to be here and excited to watch the match. Booking very early meant I got a cheap rate. Others on the train said they were paying over £150 a night.’
Another fan who arrived today was Charlie Archibald, 30. He had a ticket for the match courtesy of his cousin Liam Cooper who is expected to play for Scotland tomorrow night.
Sporting a blue Scotland jersey with ‘Cooper’ on the back, he said: ‘I guess we are the lucky ones with a ticket. My cousin plays for Scotland so he was able to get us the tickets. Didn’t cost me anything. We’re really looking forward to the match.’
Charlie travelled down to London with friends Robbie Lapsley and David Snedden. They headed to their hotel Hyde Park after their train journey.
The police will work with stewards to stop ticketless fans accessing Wembley Way, and travelling fans in the England sections risk being ejected from the stadium. Pictured: Scotland fans in London today
Scottish Football Supporters Association founder, Paul Goodwin, questioned why there was no fan zone provided for supporters without tickets in London, adding that Glasgow has one that can take 6,000 seated and socially distanced people. Pictured: Fans in London
Sven Lister, part of the Roysth Tartan Army supporters club, said that not facilitating a way for fans to watch the match could bring about trouble. Pictured: Fans in London today
All 15 of the train services going straight to London from Glasgow in time for the match on Friday were sold out by Monday this week. Pictured: Trainline search results for today
It is thought that Scotland will join England in taking a knee to protest racial inequality during Friday’s game.
Hundreds of Met Police officers are set to form a ring of steel at Wembley to prevent ticketless fans accessing the stadium tomorrow night.
There will also be a significant police presence in tourist areas of such as Trafalgar Square, as well as at King’s Cross and Euston stations.
There are also concerns about Scotland fans infiltrating the home areas of the stadium as tickets are still changing hands on various resale websites.
The police will work with stewards to stop ticketless fans accessing Wembley Way, and travelling fans in the England sections risk being ejected from the stadium.
Scottish Football Supporters Association founder, Paul Goodwin, questioned why there was no fan zone provided for supporters without tickets in London, adding that Glasgow has one that can take 6,000 seated and socially distanced people.
All bar one train arriving on Thursday was sold out (pictured), meaning the influx of fans has begun more than 24 hours before kick off
Following tomorrow’s match, Scotland will return to Hampden Park in Glasgow for the final group game against Croatia on 22 June. Pictured: Other fans opted to drive to London
He told The Times: ‘There will be plenty of tartan on display as we like coming down and showing off. The fact we have not been part of it [a major tournament] for such a long time is a factor.’
Sven Lister, part of the Roysth Tartan Army supporters club, said that not facilitating a way for fans to watch the match could bring about trouble.
‘I reckon there will be about 20,000 or so turning out. It just worries me that they’ve not done anything. There’s going to be groups wandering, possibly not getting to see the football, which would cause trouble,’ he told MyLondon.
But Goodwin said that Scottish fans have won awards for their friendliness and good behaviour at the previous two tournaments.
The news comes following disappointment for Scotland fans after their country lost 2-0 in their first match in a major tournament in 23 years, which saw a Czech Republic player score an extraordinary goal from the halfway line.
The game was played at Hampden Park in Glasgow in front of a socially-distanced crowd of 12,000 fans.
The Met’s Deputy Assistant Comissioner, Jane Connors, told Sportsmail the force were preparing to deal with an invasion of ticketless fans for Scotland’s first game at Wembley since a World Cup qualifier five years ago in what will be only their second tournament meeting in 114 fixtures.
Scenes of fans descending on the capital today no-doubt evoked memories of previous Tartan army invasions in London, such as in 1979 (pictured)
Scotland beat England 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in 1977, prompting fans to invade the pitch and pull down goalposts (pictured)
Fans are seen celebrating their sides first goal in the match against England at Wembley in 1977
‘We anticipate a significant number of fans are expecting to travel to London,’ Connors said.
‘I would urge people: please, only come to London if you have a ticket for a match, or fanzone. There are no alternative sites for fans to gather in large numbers and there are limited spaces in pubs and bars and you could end up missing the game. London is still in lockdown and must observe current Government guidelines.’
Mr Goodwin added that said Steve Clarke side’s defeat by the Czech Republic may have deterred fans from travelling and complained about the lack of a fanzone for the visitors in London.
‘There’s less likely to be a mass invasion as people are feeling deflated after the Czech result, but there will be a few thousand without tickets, that’s for sure,’ Goodwin said.
‘In addition to those travelling, as someone who lived in London for 16 years I know how big the Scottish community is down there.
‘The official allocation is 3,000 so it could be double that or even more. A Scottish fanzone would have helped keep people away from Wembley. Maybe that decision was taken to stop people from travelling.’
Following tomorrow’s match, Scotland will return to Hampden Park in Glasgow for the final group game against Croatia on 22 June.
About 12,000 people descended on Hampden to watch their match against the Czech Republic on Monday.