Ex Leeds United player Dominic Matteo forced to leave Wembley during England v Italy due to unrest

Leeds United hero Dominic Matteo says he was forced to leave Wembley on Sunday night amid unrest among supporters.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 2:54 pm
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 2:56 pm
Fans gather outside of Wembley stadium ahead of England v Italy. Pic: Getty
Fans gather outside of Wembley stadium ahead of England v Italy. Pic: Getty

England hosted Italy in the final of the European Championships in the capital after a stunning run in this summer's delayed international tournament.

Gareth Southgate's Three Lions made history by making the country's first major final for 55 years.

The game, though, was marred by a section of fans in and outside of the ground.

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There were scenes of unrest outside the stadium in the build up to kick-off with a number of supporters attempting to force their way into the stadium past security barriers and succeeding.

A Wembley spokesperson admitted there had been a breach of security.

Videos posted on social media showed fighting on the stadium concourses as security staff struggled to keep fans from breaking into the ground, while away from Wembley there was disorder in other areas of London.

On the pitch, England were beaten on penalties in heartbreaking fashion following a 1-1 draw after extra-time with the Azzurri.

The Football Association has said it will conduct a full review into how people without tickets were able to breach security and gain access to Wembley which sparked clashes.

A stadium spokesperson said during the match that a “small number” of people had got into the stadium and that security staff and stewards were working to remove them.

Ex-Whites player Matteo took to social media to share his experience in the aftermath of the game and said he was forced to leave the match early due to feeling unsafe.

"Security was so easily breached last night at Wembley stadium," Matteo said.

"The entry process was shambolic. I didn’t even stay to watch the game as the atmosphere was so hostile at many different points of entry, with children present being pushed to the ground scared and crying.

"The stewards were not equipped to handle these scumbags and the police were too slow to react to the violence. I’m still in shock as to what I actually witnessed last night on what should have been a wonderful occasion."

The Metropolitan Police said there had been 49 arrests connected to the match for a variety of offences. The force also reported 19 officers had been injured as they confronted “volatile” crowds.