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14th Jul 2021

England fan who stormed Wembley at Euro final defends actions

Charlie Herbert

He reckons at least 5,000 fans got into Wembley without tickets.

One of the men who organised thousands of ticketless fans storming Wembley to get into the game has defended his actions.

Speaking to the Guardian, Pablo (not his real name) explained how chat platform Telegram was used to coordinate stampedes, and that fans were sharing tips on how to get into the stadium and where the weak entrances were.

He said that he joined the so-called “Wembley jib” after trying all week before to get a legitimate ticket.

“I just thought my dad is 52 and he’s never seen England in a final at Wembley. And it might never happen again in my lifetime. There were 30,000 spare seats and we didn’t sit in anyone’s seat,” he explained.

Pablo himself set up a Telegram chat of around 200 ticketless fans, but said that he was also a member of another chat with 500 members, and was aware of two more chats, one of which had 800 members.

Some members of the chats claimed that they got in by bribing official for as little as £20. Images of real tickets were also used by fans to forge in their own names to get past initial security checks.

Pablo, who drive down from the Midlands with nine mates to get to London, told the Guardian: “A lot of stewards seemed more than willing to help. We offered one £200 to let five of us in. At about quarter to seven we were waiting for the steward’s mate to show up and that’s when we saw a disabled door open so we just ran through.

“Every time a disabled entrance was opened there must have been 300 people who got in. And it seemed that every 10 minutes one got yanked open. And that doesn’t count the people who bribed stewards or went behind someone in the turnstiles. I would be shocked if there was less than 5,000 got in without a ticket.

“When we got in everyone was chanting ‘jib, jib, jib’ up the escalators. We found five empty seats. A family came and one of us was sat in their seat and they seemed a bit moody, but we just moved along one and no one else came.”

He added that they didn’t harm anyone and that the people causing the trouble were “the ones fighting ticketless fans.”

The FA has announced that in investigation will be taking place into how so many fans were able to break into the stadium. A spokesperson for the body said: “The security and stewarding numbers for the final exceeded the requirements for the match and were greater than any other previous event at Wembley stadium.”

UEFA has already announced that it is opening disciplinary proceedings against England for crowd trouble at the final.