FA frustrated with inability to crack down in England fans' behaviour abroad 1 year ago

FA frustrated with inability to crack down in England fans' behaviour abroad

England's best performance in years was marred by anti-social behaviour from travelling fans

England fans were riding the wave of optimism of a bright future after the Three Lions' youngest starting XI since 1959 became the first team to beat Spain on Spanish soil for 31 years.

Three first half goals allowed England to hold out for three very important points in the UEFA Nations League as they look to avoid relegation to League B in the competition's inaugural campaign.

However, as always, the anti-social behaviour of some of England fans who made the trip to Seville tarnished what should go down as a great night in England's history.

There was violence on the streets of Seville on Sunday night, as well as sectarian chanting and the unfurling of an Islamophobic flag, which the Football Association have since condemned, labelling it "unacceptable behaviour".

The FA are frustrated by their lack of power in preventing this sort of behaviour on England away trips, but have committed to suspend or ban any England Supporters’ Travel Club members who are guilty of such behaviour, as they did in March 2018 after violence broke out in Amsterdam, where Dutch police arrested 115 England fans.


The only punishment available to the FA at the moment is to prevent certain fans from buying match tickets for away games, which has worked in the past, but the nation's football governing body now face the challenge of dealing with a new generation of trouble makers.

If fans can still get their hands on tickets, the FA have little to no power in preventing such fans from reoffending.

The FA have noted a stark contrast in the behaviour of fans at away matches in western Europe, where short, cheap flights make it much easier for fans to attend the games, and games in more distant locations.

The FA have cooperated with the UK Football Police Unit to arrest the perpetrators of the violence in Amsterdam, but the majority were not ESTC members, meaning that the FA are powerless to prevent those fans from being in the vicinity, even after issuing banning orders.

The FA are fighting the good fight, but face an uphill battle in clamping down on violence and offensive chanting.