The Football Association will increase the number of stewards on duty at Wembley for tomorrow’s European Championship final between England and Italy after hundreds of ticketless fans got into the ground for England’s semi-final victory over Denmark.
Despite checkpoints for assessing each fan’s COVID-19 status around the perimeter, stewards were unable to prevent some supporters from storming the stadium and gaining access without showing tickets.
All tickets for tomorrow’s final have been sold out other than returns, though there were none listed on the UEFA website as of Thursday, leaving desperate England fans to scour the black market. The highest-priced tickets available on eBay were listed at £15,000 for a pair, despite UEFA’s attempts to crack down on touts.
In addition, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has put one pair of tickets up for grabs to those signing up for a first Covid-19 vaccine in the next 24 hours, as an incentive to get young people jabbed.
During the semifinal on Wednesday, the additional fans were accommodated easily enough because Wembley’s capacity was set at 66,000 as the match is part of the Government’s mass events COVID trial, but the FA are eager to avoid a repeat in what will be England’s biggest match for 55 years against Italy tomorrow.
The final match is billed for 8pm. Italy has looked the pick of the teams through the course of the tournament, though they had to resort to extra time and penalties to finally overcome Spain in the first Semifinal on Tuesday night.
The Three Lions are into their first European Championship Final and a first major tournament final since they won the World Cup 55 years ago. With home support at Wembley, England finally, truly believes that ‘football is coming home’.
Football fans will enjoy pre and post-match analysis of the match by former Nigerian professional footballers and European stars, including Jay-Jay Okocha and Joseph Yobo, as part of SuperSport extensive coverage of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
In addition to extra security, the FA have asked stewards to be more thorough in checking each fan’s COVID status after receiving complaints that many were simply ushered through checkpoints after waving their mobile phones.
As part of the trial run in conjunction with the Government’s Events Research Programme fans must produce evidence of having received two COVID-19 vaccinations or a negative test within the last 24 hours in order to access the stadium, but many supporters at Wembley on Wednesday evening got into the ground without being checked.
Supporters arriving at the stadium are required to pass through two checkpoints. The first is the Covid status checkpoint well outside the ground, where each fan must display evidence of being double-jabbed or a recent negative coronavirus test. Fans have told Sportsmail that some stewards were left checking multiple people at once during the busiest entry times, so were unlikely able to thoroughly perform the checks.
The second checkpoint is for match tickets and is at the turnstiles, which provide entry to the stadium itself. The tickets are scanned electronically and allow just one person entry per ticket, although it is possible that two people, depending on their size, could squeeze in at once through the revolving barrier.
Tokyo Olympics: All Nigeria’s table tennis reps knocked out
Africa’s highest-ranked player Quadri Aruna on Tuesday crashed out of the men’s singles event of the table tennis competition at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Aruna who reached the quarter-finals of the event at the Rio Games in 2016 could not go far this time around as he lost 2-4 in the third round.
He lost to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium 15-13 9-11 6-11 11-7 7-11 6-11.
His exit has brought a sad end to Team Nigeria’s campaign in the sport at this Games.
His three teammates in the sport —— Funke Oshonaike, Offiong Edem, Olajide Omotayo —- have all been eliminated.
Nigeria did not qualify for the doubles events.
John Terry leaves Aston Villa, reveals next plan
Aston Villa assistant coach, John Terry, has announced his departure from the club.
Terry, in a statement via Aston Villa’s official website on Monday, also revealed his next plan.
The Chelsea legend had since been linked with vacancies at Bristol City and West Brom United.
Terry’s statement read in part, “It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to have spent these last three years at Aston Villa, but I feel now is the right time to make the extremely difficult decision to move on.
“My immediate plan is to spend some quality time with my family and, thereafter, hopefully, take up some invitations to visit clubs and managers around Europe to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager.
“I’ll forever be indebted to the gaffer for giving me the opportunity to start my coaching career at such a wonderful club.
“Finally, I would also like to thank all the players and staff and wish them all the very best for the season ahead and say a huge thank you to the wonderful Aston Villa fans for their support.”
Solskjaer opens up on Pogba rejecting new Man United contract to join PSG
Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up on midfielder, Paul Pogba rejecting a new contract at the club in a bid to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Solskjaer also expressed confidence that Pogba will be part of his Man United squad next season.
He said this while reacting to reports that the France international has rejected a new deal at the club because he wants to join PSG.
Pogba, whose current deal with Man United will expire next summer, has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford to join PSG.
But Solskjaer has now described the report as ‘speculations’.
Asked if Pogba has rejected a contract and whether Man United will need to sell him, Solskjaer told reporters following the Red Devils’ pre-season 4-2 defeat against QPR on Saturday: “There are always speculations about Paul.
“The talks between the club and Paul’s representatives, I am not in the detail of every single one of them, so I have got nothing to say really about that.
Asked further on PSG’s interest in Pogba, Solskjaer continued: “There’s always speculation about Paul and there’s always clubs being interested.
“Of course, we have seen Paul at his best and Paul knows what we feel about it. And of course, I have enjoyed my time working with him and hopefully, we can work together. Let’s see what happens.”
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