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The Metropolitan Police have released a strongly-worded statement condemning the shameful scenes that took place ahead of England's Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley on Sunday.

But they "do not accept" that their operation failed, and claim that the game could have been abandoned were it not for their intervention.

A number of supporters clashed with police officers as disruption erupted throughout London before kick-off.

And it was announced on Monday that 49 people had been arrested, with 19 officers injured.

Some have pointed the finger of blame for the chaos towards the police and the perceived poor planning of such a large-scale event.

But a statement written by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors released on Wednesday defended her team.

Some have claimed the police were at fault for the ugly scenes
(Image: PA)

"On Sunday, for the first time in more than 50 years, England had qualified for the final of a major international football tournament," it read. "This was meant to be a day of national pride, full of jubilance and celebration.

“In the main, the day was exactly that. However, it was sadly tarnished by a minority of disorderly and violent fans who attempted to hijack the final for their own selfish personal gain. Throughout the course of the day, police officers witnessed disgraceful behaviour both in central London and at Wembley, where a number of people pushed through security cordons or fought with police officers.

“I share the nation's anger at this behaviour. I want to reiterate the Met's commitment to identifying those responsible for the scenes both in Wembley and in central London, their actions will have consequences.

“Ahead of the final, police commanders deployed one of the most significant and comprehensive policing plans the Met has ever committed to a football match of this scale. In Wembley, soon into the day it became clear that a high number of fans were arriving without tickets.

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“Police commanders recognised this could result in ticketless fans attempting to get into the stadium, they updated security officials at Wembley of this risk. To support the stewarding efforts, further highly trained public order officers were deployed to Wembley Stadium as a precaution.

“Soon after gates opened, the stewarding and outer security perimeter became overwhelmed and fans began pushing through security checks. I want to praise the quick response by police commanders and those brave officers who confronted these subsequent scenes of disorder and violence.

“I am in no doubt that their swift action prevented any further escalation. Frustratingly, 19 of our officers were injured during the course of Sunday's policing operation when confronting volatile crowds.

“I do not accept that the policing operation failed and I standby the difficult decisions made by police officers and the Met’s public order commanders. Without their immediate intervention, it is possible that this game could have been abandoned.

“The ugly scenes at Wembley on Sunday night will rightly be reviewed by the Football Association and by police. Where lessons can be learnt we will work with partners to ensure that future matches are not disrupted by a group of hooligans who are fueled on alcohol.”

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