LONDON, May 30 ― England manager Gareth Southgate has urged fans to behave ahead of the Nations League Finals in Portugal, saying the supporters are “part our of team”.
Southgate, whose side face the Netherlands in the semi-finals, with the winner playing Switzerland or Portugal in the final, was speaking as part of the Football Association's “Don't Be That Idiot” campaign, aimed at highlighting the issue of anti-social behaviour across English football.
A video shows extreme examples of unacceptable behaviour. Each incident is a re-creation of football-related scenes witnessed in recent years both domestically and in Europe.
Southgate, who took England to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia last year, asks supporters to be mindful of their behaviour.
“You are part of our team,” says Southgate in the video. “Make the country proud.”
About 18,000 England fans are reportedly expected to travel to Portugal, which is popular with British tourists.
Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn said: “It has been a great season for English football and England but we can't ignore some of the anti-social and embarrassing behaviour that has crept back into the game.
“There are thousands of brilliant supporters wherever our teams go, but there is an increasing problem that must be called out. We all have a responsibility to represent the country in the right way and that is what we are trying to highlight.”
Britain's most senior police officer with responsibility for football, Mark Roberts, said he supported the FA initiative.
“The reputation of English football fans has been damaged over the years as we often see a stag-do mentality where too much alcohol is consumed, which results in offensive behaviour and disorder,” he said. ― AFP