The Metropolitan Police are facing questions over the chaos at Wembley Stadium after 19 police officers were injured during violence before the Euros 2020 final.

Forty-nine people were arrested in London by officers policing the Euro 2020 final, the Met said.

The force added that 19 officers were injured "while they confronted volatile crowds".

Scotland Yard tweeted: "Our policing operation for the Euro2020 final is drawing to a close. Thank you to the tens of thousands of fans who had good spirits and behaved responsibly.

"We made 49 arrests during the day for a variety of offences. We will have officers on hand throughout the night.

"Frustratingly, 19 of our officers were injured while they confronted volatile crowds. This is wholly unacceptable."

Fans tussled with each other at the Euro 2020 final

Credit: Sam Holiday/Alamy Live News

Police officers monitor England supporters standing on the edge of Trafalgar Square during a live screening of the UEFA EURO 2020 final

Credit: TOLGA AKMEN

The Metropolitan Police Federation, the body which represents thousands of London’s police, has criticised people who hurt officers after the match on Sunday evening.

In response to a tweet from the Met police force, which said that 19 officers were left injured, the Federation said: "These people should be ashamed of themselves. They are not fans. They are thugs. We wish our injured colleagues well."

Unbelievable footage of violence in Wembley tonight. A literal child gets punched by a full grown man and an Asian man is kicked repeatedly in the head by several people. Disgusting behaviour. pic.twitter.com/NLtvjgF8Fe

— Kyle Glen (@KyleJGlen) July 11, 2021

The Football Association denounced those who pushed their way in as "an embarrassment" and vowed to work with authorities to "take action" against them.

In a statement posted on Twitter, a spokesperson said: "We strongly condemn the behaviour of a group of people that forced their way into Wembley Stadium before the Euro 2020 Final. This is entirely unacceptable.

"These people are an embarrassment to the England team and to all of the true fans who wanted to enjoy one of the most important matches in our history."

After the match, riot police could be seen breaking through crowds outside Wembley Stadium as fans departed.

Beer bottles were thrown amid chants against Italy and the Metropolitan Police confirmed they are investigating after footage was posted online appearing to show people being punched and kicked inside the stadium.

England football fans are seen reacting in Stevenson Square in Manchester City Centre after England lose on penalties after extra time

Credit: London News Pictures Ltd

A minister has said that the fans who stormed Wembley Stadium to gain entry to the Euro 2020 final do not represent the majority of supporters.

Asked about security around the footballing event, junior minister Edward Argar told Sky News: "I think the police did a fantastic job and sadly we saw a number of police officers, as I understand it, injured last night and I think there have been 45 arrests made so far, and action will be taken against those who have perpetrated these offences, who broke the rules or broke the law.

"The police did, I think, a fantastic job – they know what they are doing, they know how to operationally police events.

"It is sad when a very small number of people, a tiny minority, bring the sport into disrepute by trying to do something like this.

"Again, I would say they are not reflective of the fans of our national game and our national team."

He added: "The police will take, I know, all action necessary against those who have been arrested where they can prove an offence has been committed."

‘Shambolic’: What went wrong at Wembley

By Ben Rumsby

The security operation at Sunday’s European Championship final was the most shambolic I have seen at a sporting event in 25 years attending them all around the world.

And, although fan behaviour was reprehensible, organisers and police must shoulder much of the blame for what unfolded.

Initial checkpoint

I have been to several Euros and World Cups and, usually, the initial checkpoint for ticket-holders is a considerable distance from a stadium, with a physical ring of steel erected along a wide perimeter. But, on Sunday, this was mere yards from Wembley. This allowed thousands of ticketless fans to gather close to the ground and made it much easier for them to act as a mob, force their way through and evade capture. 

Brute force appeared not to be the only method by which people breached the first line of defence, raising serious questions about the ticket checks that were taking place. At the last World Cup in Russia, fans had to pass through airport-style security at this point – including bag and body scanners – but I was not even frisked.

Turnstiles

One of the drawbacks of electronic turnstiles is that there is no-one physically controlling them, meaning it is easy to squeeze two people into them – known as ‘tailgating’. Those tasked with conducting body searches after people come through the turnstiles are meant to monitor this. But I personally saw two people get away with tailgating as I entered the ground and spoke to another fan inside who said he had witnessed a similar incident. I was also offered money just as I was about to enter by a fan asking me to let him tailgate me. 

As with the initial checkpoint, I was not scanned, frisked or asked to empty my pockets at this point (I would sincerely hope everyone with a bag was checked). Having attended many matches at Wembley down the years, I cannot recall that ever happening previously and it was truly shocking it occurred at a match of this magnitude.

Concourses

At previous games I have been to at Wembley, I am usually asked to produce my ticket again as I enter the bowl of the stadium. This is primarily designed to help fans locate their seats but would also help weed out any ticketless supporters to have gained entry. Again, this did not happen on Sunday. So it is easy to see how so many ticketless fans were able to end up watching the game.

Policing

Again, at previous major tournaments, whenever attending an event of this magnitude, you cannot move for police and other security forces. They may well have been where I wasn’t but I hardly saw any police at all on Sunday. There certainly did not seem to be enough on hand to assist stewards before and after fans forced entry. Given England’s semi-final win over Denmark had witnessed similar attempts, this raises serious questions about whether police had properly planned for what was an entirely foreseeable series of events.