We live in angry times and never was this more apparent than in the disgusting scenes of random violence and intimidation from England football fans at Wembley on Sunday night.

What should have been a glorious night of sporting celebration for a country that ‘invented’ the game in the first place has turned into a picking of a scab on a dark underside to society.

The violence of hundreds of fans storming the stadium and terrorising regular fans for who this was a sporting occasion that they might only experience once in a lifetime of being a fan was shocking.

The booing of national anthems and even their own team when things weren’t going to their liking in advance through the team taking the knee or in a game such as was the case against Scotland was a precursor to the abuse of players on social media and in the defacing of posters displaying some of the players who missed penalties on the biggest night of their lives.

This isn’t anything to do with sport, and yet sport is the conduit that racial hatred and violence finds their way into the mainstream.

Blame is being thrown around at security at Wembley but if the United States security could not protect their seat of Government in January it is clear that an angry mob will always have an opportunity to do what it wants.

There are calls today for the FAI to withdraw any involvement in the consideration of a bid to co-host the FIFA World Cup in 2030, alongside the Football Associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Those calls are premature for now and officials will gain more from witnessing the ways in which the review of the Euro’s are undertaken from within.

We have no obligation to carry on if things are not improved dramatically, and it may become academic if FIFA was to rule out England on the basis of what happened.

There are lessons to be learned and they should be. England is not alone in its racist elements. Witness the scenes at Hungary’s matches, the activity of Ultra fans in multiple other countries and more.

It was a shameful night for England but we should take time to consider a next move rather than straight away walk away without seeking to be part of how we can all collectively make things better.


Is it time to take your place alongside the 250+ members of the Sport for Business network of sporting and business organisations working together across a number of key areas in the commercial world of Irish Sport?

Download our latest membership brochure here.

Sport for Business Partners