EFA’s overwhelming assessment of the FA’s failure to control the Euro 2020 final may just be the last nail in the coffin for any hope of hosting a World Cup anytime soon.
It could hardly have come at a worse time: on the eve of today’s meeting of MPs to discuss the feasibility of a joint bid between the UK and Ireland to host the tournament in 2030.
The country’s biggest football opportunity for 55 years has descended into chaos for many English and Italian fans, who were entitled to expect greater protection on what should have been a big day.
UEFA criticized the FA for “a lack of order and discipline in and around the stadium”. They also highlighted other offenses, including supporters invading the pitch, objects thrown from crowds and disturbances during national anthems.
Accounts from those there showed the true extent of the little control authorities had, as Wembley’s security was overwhelmed by ticketless fans storming the gates. This led to scenes of violence and actual ticket holders claiming their seats had been taken.
The FA has confirmed that there will be an independent review to try to learn from this sad episode, but that will likely underline just how wrong they got.
Their statement, professing “deep regret that some” fans pushed their way into the ground downplays what eyewitnesses saw. It was difficult to see an empty seat in a stadium with a capacity of 90,000 seats authorized to hold only 60,000.
Maybe a World Cup bid was still doomed, but its cause certainly wasn’t helped yesterday.