Euro Cup 2020 drama

Nigah Muhammad

The writer is a reporter and journalist.

Two soccer-mad nations faced each other, and one blinked. Italy bested England in the final of the Euro 2020 tournament Sunday in London to win the trophy for the second time after 53 years.

The winner was determined by a penalty-kick shootout after extra time that kept the score even at 1. Italy won the shootout 3-2 after England’s final shot was blocked. Both finalists were unbeaten in the Euro Cup 2020. In the group matches, the Italian team won all three of its matches, while England won two and one match ended in a draw.

England team was dominant throughout the tournament and due to the strong defense, the team conceded very few goals. If were look at the Italian team, it consisted of senior players who remained unbeaten throughout the tournament due to their aggressive approach.

Even before the match started, the final took a dramatic turn with England’s fans took to streets, in colorful costumes, were seen canting ‘It’s Coming Home’ and dancing with banners in anticipation of a possible victory.

Fans clashed with each other and officials, breached security cordons and charged into the perimeter area of Wembley before the start of the match England fans entered the stadium without tickets by storming the gates. The English administration was failed miserably to stooped the supporters for entering the stadium.

English fans were obviously desperate to see their team finally win a major tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Cup. But the result of the match disappointed the supporters of the English team. The English team’s fans were seen clashing with Italian fans in the stadium’s basement, with punches and kicks being thrown. Also, some of the English fans could be heard verbally abusing the Italian supporters.

Even England’s black players started receiving racist abuse on social media. Marcus Rashford’s penalty hit the post and spots kicks from Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were saved by Italy’s goalkeeper. The 19-year-old Saka missed the decisive penalty that gave the title to Italy.

Why such things happened after the match and why the administration was failed to control the supporters of the team. Abusing and beating other team’s supporters after a loss is not right. Even the administration should had not allowed a large crowd as COVID-19 cases are surging and it’s is not an easy job to control such a huge crowd.

Match organizers bring in as many crowds as possible in the lure of money, but the steps taken to handle them and maintain discipline are ignored. Sadly, we also saw the black-and-white conflict in the whole process, which is absolutely unbearable in the game.

Before hosting the next event, the Euro Cup management should ensure that security arrangements are made wherever the next event takes place and avoid creating a war-like situation on the playing field.