There were clashes with police in central London as England fans’ celebrations got out of hand (Image: REUTERS)
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England fans clashed with police in London with supporters wrestled to the ground in wild scenes as celebrations after victory over Ukraine got out of control.
Nine arrests were made in the capital on Saturday night, the force confirmed with one arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm of a police officer and three accused of assaulting a police officer.
Cops battled to maintain order in the centre of the capital with human barricades after hundreds of supporters descended on Leicester Square following the 4-0 quarter-final win.
Celebrations took place around the country with plenty of alcohol but were largely in good spirits and without trouble, but in London police were forced to move in.
A line of police officers tried to disperse fans from Leicester Square while one supporter was seen letting off a flare in Piccadilly Circus.
Police formed a barricade as they tried to disperse fans in London following England's victory
The force confirmed nine arrests:
- A man was arrested on suspicion of drunk and disorderly behaviour.
- A man was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm of a police officer
- Three men were arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer
- Four men were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, Metropolitan Police Service said: “The Met has maintained a highly visible presence across London as people enjoy the Euros and celebrate England’s progression in the tournament.
“Last night following England’s match against Ukraine we saw a number of people take to the streets and I am pleased to say that this was all largely good natured. Fans engaged positively with officers and they dispersed when asked.
People headed to central London to celebrate after England booked a semi-final place
“While a larger crowd gathered in Leicester Square this area was cleared by approximately 23:30hrs. Two officers were injured as this area was cleared and thankfully their injuries are not life-threatening.
“We want people to be able to enjoy the Euros safely and securely. We will continue to have measures in place to keep the public safe, prevent crime and disorder and respond effectively to any incidents. I would also like to remind everyone that London remains in a public health crisis and we must all take action to stick to the rules in line with the government guidance.”
Gareth Southgate’s side now play the first semi-final in the competition for 25 years when they were beaten by Germany in Euro 96.
Hundreds of fans, chanting and singing, climbed onto the Shaftesbury memorial fountain in Piccadilly Circus.
The Met tweeted on Saturday evening: "Congratulations to England on an outstanding performance.
Fans were in high spirits after Gareth Southgate's side made easy work of Ukraine with a 4-0 win
"Officers remain on duty across London to make sure everyone can celebrate safely.
"Piccadilly Circus in particular is now very crowded with people climbing up the Eros statue. Please avoid the area."
There has been concern that England’s strong run in Euro 2020 could be pushing up the Covid infection rates with thousands around the country similarly ignoring government advice on social distancing.
The victory was met with jubilant scenes across the country, with large crowds gathering in towns and cities to watch the crunch match.
Aside from in London there was some skirmishes as well in Nottingham were police were pelted with bottles.
Heavy rain didn't dampen the spirits of supporters who went wild at an outdoor fan zone at EventCity in Manchester, where one fan stripped down to his St George's Cross-themed underwear.
Jubilant fans celebrated in Leicester Square as England head for their first semi-final tie since Euro 96
The Duke of Cambridge was among those expressing excitement for what lies ahead, with a post on Twitter saying: “Another top team performance and clean sheet from @England tonight. #ThreeLions. Well played to Ukraine. Can’t wait for Wednesdays semi final!”
Merseyside Police's jubilant social media team posted on Twitter : "Have a great night if you're out celebrating the #EngUkr win, keep safe, be kind. Wednesday is going to be massive!"
Earlier, fans who made the journey to Rome predicted victory as they gathered at the Italian capital's tourist attractions, bars and outside the stadium.
Inside the Stadio Olimpico, a fan who spoke to the Mirror didn't want to give his name or be photographed because he feared his wife would find out he was at the game.
The man said: "My missus doesn’t even know I’m here. She thinks I’m out with my mate in Palma for the night. I fly back tomorrow."