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Euro 2020

16th Jul 2021

Italian restaurant smashed up by ‘mindless idiots’ after Euro 2020 final

Kieran Galpin

“They were smashing up the only Italian restaurant in their town.”

The only Italian restaurant in Sleaford was vandalised by “mindless idiots” as disorder spread to small towns across the country following the Euros final.

England’s defeat by Italy not only sparked racist abuse of players but untold chaos across the UK, Marc Jones, the chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said. Police arrested 86 people following the loss, and 19 officers were injured. As many as 53 arrests were made at Wembley alone, The Evening Standard reports.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said most people watched the build-up to the final “responsibly and safely”, but a small number of people were “intent on using the football as an excuse to behave appallingly towards other members of the public and officers”.

At a press conference on Thursday, Jones said that the entire seating area outside the restaurant was “smashed to pieces”.

“Completely mindless idiots – they were smashing up the only Italian restaurant in their town. How do you deal with people who think that is ok?”

He said that “something just switches” in the minds of law-abiding citizens when there is a football match on.

“You really need to get people and be very public saying ‘these are who the people are who did this thing’. Let their friends, family, employers, colleagues see who they are,” Jones said.

More than 2,300 incidents linked to the Euros were reported, including stabbings, glassings, fights and assaults on police officers, and 630 arrests were made in England and Wales, The Independent reports.

Festus Akinbusoye, the Conservative PCC for Bedfordshire, said the disorder at Wembley and elsewhere pointed to a “wider issue with culture around football”.

“Rather than focusing on policing I would like us to discuss the culture of football that attracts this kind of mindless destructive vandalism,” he added.