South African police were today searching for an irate England fan who barged his way into the team’s dressing room last night but was let free before he could be arrested.
The man vented his anger at England’s poor performance during their 0-0 draw with Algeria at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town before he was hustled away by a Fifa official.
The incident came within minutes of Princes William and Harry, who attended the match, leaving the scene. A number of players and backroom staff, including David Beckham, were present.
Provincial police spokesman Colonel Billy Jones said the man, who was wearing a red T-shirt, was now wanted for trespassing.
He said police were investigating why he was not handed over to officers, in which case he would have been arrested.
Col Jones said: “Somebody who is believed to be an England supporter managed to get into the changing room of the England team. There is no report he engaged with any of the team members. He was removed from the dressing room by one of the Fifa officials.
“At this stage we are consulting with all the security agents that were present and will be looking at all the available surveillance footage to establish how this person got in. He has not been arrested.”
Asked why the Fifa official did not apprehend the man and hand him over to police, Colonel Jones said: “That will form part of our investigation – why police were not informed at the time. We have opened a case of trespassing against him after the Fifa security was breached.”
He said police would now be looking at how to improve security at the stadium, adding: “We will assess the situation and apply our minds to the way forward.”
He continued: “The indication is that the person was wearing a red T-shirt and was therefore an England spectator.”
The Football Association will demand security is tightened following the breach.
An FA spokesman said: “A fan got in past Fifa security. We have formally complained to Fifa after the game and will follow it up in writing. This is not acceptable and thankfully no serious harm was done.”