Mike Tindall reveals he broke up fight between England fans inside Wembley
The former England rugby player Mike Tindall has spoken of how he broke up a fight between brawling fans covered in blood during the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
England lost 3-2 to Italy on penalties on Sunday after a match marred by violent scenes and ticketless fans storming the stadium. Tindall has said he felt compelled to intervene as tempers flared in the section of the ground where he was sitting with his wife Zara Tindall, the Queen’s granddaughter.
“A guy was there the whole time, smashed out of his face, literally didn’t watch any of the game,” the 2003 Rugby World Cup winner revealed on The Good, The Bad and the Rugby podcast, which he co-hosts. “He was just too busy shouting at supporters that they should be standing on their feet, ends up getting into a fight with another one that’s straight behind my seat.”
“It got to a stage where this guy literally was trying to pile this guy in the face, there was a kid next to us, there was a kid on the other side crying because he couldn’t see the game because of all the guys stood in the [gangway],” Tindall added.
“I just pulled these guys apart, said to one of them ‘What are you doing? Just what are you doing?’ And you know, he wandered off, blood all over him. The guy on the floor had blood all over him.”
The FA is conducting a full review into events around the ill-fated final, while European football’s governing body, Uefa, has appointed an inspector to carry out its own investigation into “events involving supporters which occurred inside and around the stadium”.
Uefa has also issued charges against the FA related to other supporter misconduct inside the stadium. Those offences were invasion of the pitch, throwing of objects, booing of the Italian national anthem and the lighting of a firework.
On Thursday, peers in the House of Lords quizzed the government over Sunday’s police operation, with one Home Office minister expressing relief nobody was killed after fans without tickets forced their way into Wembley.
Baroness Williams of Trafford told peers it was a “very good thing that nobody was more injured than they were” in the stampede. She noted 19 police officers were injured, adding: “It’s a real shame that a few people have ruined it for the majority of people, and it’s also of great regret that our brave police officers were injured on the day. Thankfully, none died.”
Williams accepted “some of the stewarding was deficient on the day”, but insisted for the “vast majority” of Euro 2020 games held at Wembley, this had not been an issue. She added that almost 2,000 police officers had been deployed to Wembley for the final adding: “To put that in context, that is the size of an average-sized police force.”