England have warned fans attending next month’s momentous friendly with Ireland against sectarian chanting.
The English FA felt the need to email their tickets-holders after anti-IRA songs were audible at friendies earlier this season against Scotland and Italy. England manager Roy Hodgson was amongst those to condemn the singing.
Fifa even wrote to the association expressing their concern at the religious and political undertones to the chanting of English fans at the match in Turin two months ago.
— England (@England) May 19, 2015
The meeting of the nations will be the first held in Dublin since rioting by English fans forced the abandonment of a friendly 20 years ago. Security concerns had already forced this much-awaited fixture to be staged at 1pm and now English fans will have to collect their tickets in Dublin on match-day to “risk of any violations or touting”.
Supporters banned from attending English games are subject to a “passport surrender system”, whereby they must report to English police stations between 10am and kick-off time.
“The FA is calling on fans to follow England away in the right way ahead of next month’s trip to Dublin,” read last night’s email.
“The FA has recently noted an increase in anti-social behaviour from a certain section of England fans that has led to complaints from within our own supporters who, as a result, have not enjoyed the experience of backing their country on the road.
“Fifa has also made official contact with The FA to express concerns about anti-IRA chanting during the recent fixture against Italy in Turin and with the Ireland fixture in mind.
“The FA has consistently urged supporters to show respect and not chant songs that could be regarded as insulting to others, particularly from a religious or political perspective. In light of recent behaviour, this message needs to be proactively reinforced.”
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