British Royalty congratulate Italy | Sunday Observer

British Royalty congratulate Italy

18 July, 2021
The Italy team celebrate before taking the Cup home to Rome
The Italy team celebrate before taking the Cup home to Rome

Football fans reacted with disappointment as England lost to Italy on penalties in the Euro 2020 final as around 60,000 fans at Wembley witnessed the Three Lions’ defeat, while millions watched in pubs, fan zones and homes across the country.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton - who were at Wembley with Prince George - congratulated the Italian side.

London’s Metropolitan Police said 49 arrests were made amid pre-match unrest at the stadium.

It added that 19 officers “were injured while they confronted volatile crowds”.

“Heartbreaking. Congratulations Azzurri on a great victory,” the royal couple wrote on Twitter.

“England, you’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day. You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves - I know there’s more to come.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England “played like heroes”, adding: “They have done the nation proud and deserve great credit.”

Later he also tweeted condemnation of racist abuse directed at England players who missed penalties.

He said: “This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.

“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said there was “absolutely no place for racism in football or anywhere else” and called on social media companies to remove and prevent hate.

He also tweeted that England had “made history this tournament”, adding: “Few have seen an England performance - or team - like the one you gave us this summer.”

Meanwhile, newspapers delayed their first editions as they attempted to sum up the feelings of a nation. “Lions did us proud,” the Metro’s main headline said.

Ahead of the game there were chaotic scenes at Wembley, with footage showing dozens of fans trying to force their way past barriers to get into stadium.

Scotland Yard said there was a “breach of security” in the afternoon “which resulted in a small number of people getting into the stadium without a ticket”.

“Officers worked closely with security officials to prevent any further breaches,” the Met said in a statement. (BBC Sport)