England is standing on the precipice of its greatest international soccer accomplishment in generations. Gareth Southgate wants to make sure the team's fans handle it properly.
One day before the Euro 2020 final against Italy, the English manager warned the Wembley Stadium crowd not to boo the Italian national anthem like they did with the Danish anthem at the semifinals. He did endorse the idea of fans intimidating the Italians, but said they should still be respectful.
From the Evening Standard:
“It is important that our fans always respect the opposition and we know that in actual fact when we play abroad and fans boo our anthem it probably inspires us even more, so I don’t think it will help the team.
“I think we can intimidate the team with the booing during the game, but it’s different for the anthem. I think we should be respectful.”
English fans delivered some of the uglier moments of the European championship during their 2-1 win against Denmark on Thursday. In addition to the Wembley crowd booing Denmark's anthem, one fan appeared to use a laser pointer to disrupt Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during a pivotal penalty kick. Fireworks were also lit in the stadium during the match, another no-no for UEFA.
You can see the booing here:
England's Football Association was eventually fined $30,000 for their fans' conduct in the semifinal. Another fine might be on the way if fans don't heed Southgate's request.
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