Gareth Southgate has called on England supporters to behave ahead of Tuesday’s Nations League meeting with Germany in Munich – admitting any pre-match issues always have a negative impact on his camp.
It is understood police have confiscated 880 passports of England fans ahead of the fixture, which comes hot on the heels of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat in Hungary. England have been given an allocation of 3,466 at the Allianz Arena, but it is expected some supporters will travel without tickets or will have purchased ones in home sections.
Inclement weather could curtail any major pre-match clashes, but there will be a police delegation dispatched to Munich to partner with local law-enforcement, with Football Association safety and security advisers also at the stadium and in the city. Not since September 2019 has a full England allocation travelled to an away game and there are currently 1,122 banning orders in place.
Asked if it was important for England fans to behave on a big occasion in Germany, Southgate replied: “Yes, it is. I think we know because of the landscape at the moment that the spotlight is going to be on us so we all want to be coming away talking about a brilliant night and about good football and a stunning atmosphere.
“We don’t have any control over that. We can only ask that’s what our supporters deliver.”
There have been over 70,000 checks on applications to join the England Supporters Travel Club since 2014 as the authorities look to clamp down on allowing known troublemakers to attend away fixtures. Dozens of England fans were arrested in Amsterdam ahead of a friendly win over Holland in March 2018, with the coronavirus pandemic severely limiting the chances to follow the Three Lions abroad.
Southgate said such behaviour leading into matches does affect the squad and that he is left “embarrassed” when it does happen. He admitted: “It definitely has an impact.
“Staff are working on things detracting from the main part of their job. You are embarrassed when you hear about it, because you know it’s a representation of your country.
“In the same way, there’s been a brilliant representation of that across the world in the last couple of days (for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations). So we’re always conscious of that. I think we can only give the correct messages – it’s then you’ve got to rely on people behaving themselves.
“I think we have supporters from all parts of the country who travel brilliantly, and leave foreign countries with a great feeling about England and English supporters. We know that there’s always been others that do it a different way, and that’s been the same for 40-odd years.
“We’ve still got to try to police that as well as we can, and make sure we keep stopping people from doing those things. That’s not easy to control, frankly.”
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips echoed the comments of Southgate, calling on fans to show respect while travelling. He said: “I think there are a lot of issues.
“We want our fans to go there and be respectful to Munich and be respectful in a different country. We’d expect the same back.
“When Germany came to our country, it was very respectful. The fans support us well and when they behave well and when they act like real fans, which they always do, I think they’re no problem.”