I thoroughly enjoyed Euro 2020, and it’s hard to argue against Italy emerging as deserving winners of the tournament.
However, for the climax of the competition to have such a horrible aftermath – in so many different ways – has really taken the shine off for me.
The fact that Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka suffered online racial abuse, simply for failing to beat Italian keeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma from 12 yards, was disgusting.
The comments were horrible, and the level of negativity from so many different directions was just unacceptable.
Listen, they missed a penalty-kick. I’ll repeat that. They missed a penalty-kick.
Where is the sense of reality and level of balance on this?
The three lads would have felt bad enough without all the other stuff being heaped upon them.
I know it’s been said time after time, but surely the social media companies must be able to do more to combat this kind of thing?
It capped off what turned out to be a miserable Sunday for England.
There were the incidences of ticketless fans breaking down barriers, and assaulting police officers and stewards to get into Wembley.
Some wearing the Three Lions were also seen attacking jubilant Italian fans.
Seeing the various stampedes left me shaking my head. Again, the scenes were shocking.
Those involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
I wonder if the England management and players were aware before kick-off of what was taking place in and around the vicinity of Wembley.
If they were, that could have been upsetting for them and also diverted their focus before the biggest game of their international careers.
It wouldn’t have been helpful, that’s for sure.
The bigger picture is that what happened last Sunday could well scupper England’s bid – with Scotland potentially being involved – to host the 2030 World Cup Finals.
That’s not me trying to be sensational. It’s just the reality of the situation.
Let’s hope there has been no long-term damage done by last Sunday’s disgusting disorder.
FIFA must be concerned, and already they are sure to have reservations. They will need to be reassured on a huge scale.
The chaos surrounding the Euros Final has also been discussed, and opinions given, in the Houses of Parliament and the House of Lords.
It’s serious stuff. But before we jump the gun, there needs to be an in-depth investigation.
The UK Government, the English FA, UEFA and the police need to gather all the available information, and learn from mistakes that were made.
It looked as though too many organisations with the responsibility of ensuring the event passed off safely were ill-prepared.
Where was the pre-game intelligence by the experts to advise on the possibility of what might happen, where it will happen and when it will happen?
The scenes we all witnessed didn’t appear off the cuff. There had to have been an element of pre-planning.
Too many areas around the security planning for the Final looked to be lacking in the precautions taken.
UEFA too must really look themselves in the mirror.
They chose the venue. Were the staff and the external operators they brought in well enough equipped to cope?
Overall, it just wasn’t good enough.
It’s also been reported that there has been a spike in Covid because of the Final.
Was it really the right thing to have it at Wembley in front of more than 60,000 spectators? I’m really not so sure.
It looked to me like the UK Government, led by Boris Johnson, were trying to appease UEFA.
Important decisions should never be taken on that sort of basis.
However, to get back to the football, the tournament was a success and it’s has really whetted my appetite for the World Cup next year.
As for the Final itself, I found it an intriguing contest, although I have to say I wasn’t on the edge of my seat during the 120 minutes of play.
Neither keeper was overworked, and I don’t think either side looked to be a clear winner.
A 1-1 draw was just about right, but the Italians showed more intent to win in open play.
They survived the setback of losing a goal inside two minutes from England defender Luke Shaw.
Italy were patient and never panicked. To the letter, they just know what they are doing, all over the pitch.
The penalty kick shoot-out was dramatic, but I did fancy Roberto Mancini’s men when it got down to the one-v-one situation from 12 yards.
Someone was always going to miss, and someone would emerge as the villain in the eyes of some people.
But I think we all know who the real villains were last Sunday.
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