Tuesday 27 September 2016

Crowd trouble mars England's win over Lithuania but FA confident they will avoid sanctions

Glenn Moore

Published 13/10/2015 | 08:03

Riot Police separate Lithuania and England fans in the stands during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the LFF Stadium, Vilnius last night
Riot Police separate Lithuania and England fans in the stands during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the LFF Stadium, Vilnius last night
Police and fans in the stands during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the LFF Stadium, Vilnius last night Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
Police and fans in the stands during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the LFF Stadium, Vilnius last night Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine

The Football Association are confident they will not face Uefa sanctions after trouble broke out among supporters during England’s match with Lithuania at the LFF stadium. Their hosts, however, may face disciplinary action for failures in segregation.

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There were two incidents early in England’s 3-0 victory. The first involved skirmishes between England fans and home supporters in an end designated for the latter.

Riot police intervened and formed a barrier between the two groups. Then, after England went ahead, the home supporters reacted angrily to taunts from England fans and fought with police as they sought unsuccessfully to reach the visitors.

It was notable that the police penned in the local fans, rather than the England supporters who did not attack the many Lithuanians left alongside them.

Although there were reports of poor stewarding sending official England fans into this section most of the visiting supporters involved will have bought tickets directly, rather than through the FA’s England travel club. The official section for 850 travelling England fans was along one side of the stadium. There was no trouble in that area.

Geography and linguistic differences mean it should have been easy for the Lithuanian FA to prevent England fans buying tickets - except those bought them through a third party, such as a tout. FA measures include working with UK police who had a delegation in Lithuania.

Independent News Service

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