Fans attending England’s European Championship matches have performed the banned song ‘10 German bombers’, according to an official report submitted to Uefa.
Ahead of the Three Lions’ last-16 clash against Germany next Tuesday, Telegraph Sport can reveal anti-discrimination monitors reported hearing the chant – which mocks German casualties during the Second World War – at England’s opening match against Croatia.
Video footage was also uploaded to Twitter of it being sung outside Wembley before the game.
The song became a talking point on the social media site following confirmation England would face Germany amid fears of a repeat of the shameful scenes which marred a friendly between them in Dortmund four years ago. England have not played in Germany since.
Game starts in two hours. pic.twitter.com/5NeaYqk3EZ
— Darren Lewis (@MirrorDarren) June 13, 2021
The singing during last week’s Croatia game of what was on Thursday branded an “ultra-nationalist” song was referenced in an official report submitted to Uefa by the FARE network, which operates the governing body’s anti-discrimination monitoring system.
No action was taken against the Football Association, which was also the case when FARE reported the chant being sung on previous occasions, including during the last World Cup.
However, the FA itself banned members of the England Supporters Travel Club involved in singing the song during a friendly in Dortmund in March 2017.
Piara Powar, the executive director of FARE, told the Telegraph: “We would classify it as an ultra-nationalist song that, sung within certain contexts, would be seen as an insult and discriminatory.”
Powar urged the FA to ban anyone caught singing it on Tuesday, adding: “If the FA wants to find out who’s singing it through seat numbers, it has the means to do that.
“The FA could also be doing more in terms of its messaging, telling people not to sing it. The Germany game is tense enough already. Why would you want to make it even more tense?”
Identifying anyone performing the chant could be made more difficult by the requirement for those attending matches at Wembley to wear masks.
England manager Gareth Southgate condemned the chant ahead of his sides’ most recent meeting with Germany in November 2017, saying: “It’s unacceptable, completely unacceptable.
“We’ve moved on from those times, or should have moved on from those times. They don’t represent us as a team, the people who do that.”
Telegraph Sport has approached the FA for comment but its position on ‘10 German bombers’ was made clear after the Dortmund friendly by then-chairman Greg Clarke.
“The behaviour of a section of the England support in Dortmund was inappropriate, disrespectful and disappointing,” he said.
“The FA has consistently urged supporters to show respect and not to chant songs that could be regarded as insulting to others. Individuals who engage in such behaviour do not represent the overwhelming majority of England fans nor the values and identity we should aspire to as a football nation.”
The chanting was also condemned at the time by the former chairman of the Bomber Command Association, Malcolm White, a veteran of conflicts in the Falklands, Belize and the former Yugoslavia.
White, who spent half of his Royal Air Force career in Germany, said: “We just don’t need this sort of stuff. I just don’t get it, it’s unhelpful, it’s not right.”
He added: “It’s divisive and it adds nothing to the understanding of the generations that are following us about exactly what went on and why it went on.
“It saddens me deeply and I don’t see why it should be perpetuated, frankly. I don’t know what the culture is that enables some of the folk who turn up to watch football to be acting that way.
“It’s very unhelpful when you get into jingoistic-type comments. Maybe the football audience could be slightly more thoughtful.”
Weeks later, the FA confirmed several members of the ESTC had been banned for “unacceptable behaviour” during the game.