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FA chairman Greg Dyke defends England fans and raises security concerns over Wales game

Tue 14th Jun 2016 | Euro 2016

FA Chairman Greg Dyke has asked UEFA to reassess their security arrangements ahead of England's Euro 2016 fixture against Wales on Thursday.

Dyke sent a letter to UEFA on Monday evening after the European football authority issued a statement regarding Three Lions fans' behaviour before and during last weekend's game against Russia.

Chief executive Martin Glenn previously stated that The FA is treating UEFA's threats "with the utmost seriousness", while England manager Roy Hodgson and Wayne Rooney have implored fans to conduct themselves well when the Three Lions head to Lens on Thursday.

In the letter Dyke expressed The FA's belief that stewarding provision was insufficient in and around the Stade Velodrome on Saturday and, while recognising that English fans were involved in disorder, he implored UEFA to play their part in helping to reduce the risk of more unsavoury scenes in the weeks ahead.

He stated: "We join you (UEFA) in condemning the horrible scenes in Marseille away from the stadium on Thursday, Friday and matchday. A minority of English fans were clearly involved in some of those incidents and that is extremely disappointing to us all.

"But please also recognise that tens of thousands have behaved in a positive way. Regardless, we are working with all of the authorities and UEFA to do everything we can to avoid a repeat.

"We believe the stewarding arrangements in place [in Marseille] were unacceptable. Supporters were able to get in with fireworks and flares, and then let them off, and there was insufficient segregation between the Russian and English fans, particularly given the events of the previous two days."

Dyke says there is still work to be done by UEFA in terms of the security procedure for Thursday's game against Wales in Lens.

He continued: "Whilst we will be working hard to positively influence [England fans'] behaviour, we have serious concerns around the security arrangements for the city in the next few days. These concerns are heightened with the knowledge that Russia will play in Lille on Wednesday afternoon.

"We know that UK police authorities are stepping up their support on the ground, but we would urge you to bring the policing authorities in both Lille and Lens together as soon as possible to ensure there is a coordinated and effective plan in place. Again we are ready to play our part in these discussions."

Image: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh Livepic via Action Images

Posted by: Kev Howland 

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