England ticket boycott would not solve fan disorder issues, says FA chief executive Martin Glenn
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 09/06/19 1:09pm
A self-imposed ticketing boycott would not help solve the behavioural issues of sections of England fans during future away trips, according to FA chief executive Martin Glenn.
The Football Association's head of security Tony Conniford says he has been disappointed and embarrassed by the fan disturbances involving some England fans in Portugal.
After flare-ups in Amsterdam and Seville last year, Porto and Guimaraes this week witnessed the latest chapter of English fan disorder as supporters headed to Portugal for the inaugural Nations League finals.
England manager Gareth Southgate and the FA called the troublemakers an "embarrassment" to the national team, who have been cheered on in Portugal by their biggest following since the 2006 World Cup.
When asked if the FA would consider a self-imposed ticketing boycott to curb disorder, Glenn replied: "I think you could but it would be spectacularly unsuccessful.
"If you take Portugal, it is a holiday destination and people come out here in their hundreds and thousands.
"I give you an example; when we played Croatia in the Nations League behind closed doors there were no tickets for England fans and we still had people coming to a non-pronounceable area of Croatia where nobody goes as a tourist.
"We had hundreds of fans there. You cannot stop people travelling.
"I think that would be a massively disproportionate response. We need to love the fantastic England support that we do have but we have to think how we can marginalise the semi-criminal, anti-social ignorance of the group that shame the rest of us."
Conniford is also among those concerned that issues could be compounded in the party city of Prague as October's Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic is scheduled to be played there on a Friday night.
Glenn says the FA is in discussions with UEFA over how to mitigate potential problems.
"We take it seriously. We have seen evidence of issues in Amsterdam, Dortmund and Seville to some extent," he said.
"Let's accept we have a problem, that's the first step. We are not in control of when the game can be played but we do have input (to UEFA).
"We don't want to default every game into being on a Sunday afternoon."