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Fans 1 Players 0.

June 28, 2010

The following press release relates to the behaviour of football fans over the weekend. It is pleasing to note that there were no serious incidents in any premises in Walsall.

POLICE today moved to give England’s dejected fans a slight lift by declaring them World Cup winners. As the dust settled after England’s humiliating exit from the tournament, West Midlands Police were quick to heap praise on the supporters.

Officers were called to just three football-related incidents of disorder at licensed premises across the force after the 4-1 humbling by Germany. Throughout the four disappointing games police dealt with fewer than a dozen reports of trouble as fans heeded pre-match warnings to keep calm.

Insp Howard Lewis-Jones, who oversaw police operations during the tournament, said: “The England team came out of South Africa 2010 with their reputation tarnished but the behaviour of supporters here in the West Midlands has been brilliant. Apart from a few sporadic incidents the fans took the disappointments in their stride.”

Police were called to a handful of incidents at pubs in Wolverhampton following reports of fights, smashed windows and screens. Three people were arrested across the force in the wake of the Germany game, with most supporters heading for home.

Insp Lewis-Jones said: “I think it showed that fans in this area are pretty fair minded. They could see we were beaten by a better side and reacted with great dignity. I am sure their response will help when it comes to trying to bring the finals here in 2018. Who knows, by then we might have a side capable of winning it.”

Police believe the threat of football banning orders and a crackdown on fans who snubbed existing ones has played a major part in ensuring a trouble-free World Cup. In fact officers’ biggest headache during yesterday’s game came from reports of noisy barbecues and football parties. Insp Lewis-Jones said: ”As far as we are concerned the fans here in the West Midlands were the true winners in this tournament and we thank them for their behaviour.”

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