Mark Roberts, a constable deputy chief in Britain’s National Police Chiefs’ Council, NPCC, Saturday described the behaviour of some England fans as “appalling”, following their arrest in the Netherlands.
About 90 fans were arrested on Friday before and after the Three Lions’ 1-0 victory over the Dutch team in Amsterdam in an international friendly.
Video footage on social media showed some of the fans throwing bottles at police and bicycles into Amsterdam’s historic canals before the match in the Amsterdam Arena.
Some of the fans also booed the Dutch national anthem, an act described as “unacceptable” by England manager, Gareth Southgate.
“The behaviour of a large number of England supporters was appalling,” Roberts, who is also England’s head for football policing said.
“Any attempts to downplay it are wide of the mark. The sad fact is that the drunken mob’s behaviour reinforces the negative stereotype of England supporters, and will impact on the treatment all fans can expect when they follow the team abroad.”
He further said, “There were more than 100 arrests over two days, the largest number of arrests of England fans for a single game in several years. Unfortunately it follows a worrying trend observed at recent fixtures.”
Similarly, England’s Football Supporters’ Federation chief executive, Kevin Miles said there was no defence for the “atrocious anti-social behaviour by a minority of English fans”.
Miles said the trouble had been caused by a minority of younger fans who had not gone to watch the football.
“It is not in the interests of the regular England followers for the anti-social behaviour to creep back in as it will inevitably impact on how we are received and treated by host police forces elsewhere,” he said.
There were 5,234 official England Supporters Club ticket holders at the game. The FA said any of its members identified as causing trouble would be banned from the organisation.