A Danish fan who attended the Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley on Wednesday said she was physically assaulted by English fans as she returned home after the game.
Jeanette Jorgensen, who has lived in West London for 15 years, left with three cousins after obtaining tickets through the Danish Football Association (DBU).
“When we walked away from the stadium after the game people started shouting things like, ‘You don’t belong here’,” she told The Guardian. “We also had a Danish flag and they were trying to take it away from me but I took it out and said, ‘Leave it’. Then they started pulling my hair too and I couldn’t believe what was going on. It was pretty scary. “
According to Jorgensen, the group consisted of “six or seven” English fans aged between 20 and 40. When they had moved away after another confrontation with her cousins, she informed a nearby police officer.
“I spoke to the police but I don’t know if something happened,” Jorgensen said. “I was so shaken up I just wanted to come home.”
A report in the Evening Standard described how a nine-year-old boy fled to the top deck of a bus after his father was confronted and punched in the stomach by an English fan when a group of 40 people walked away. spotted their shirts through the windows. There have been claims that young Danish fans were spit on when they entered the stadium.
“My 14 and 11-year-old daughters didn’t dare show off their Danish shirts and hats because they were intimidated by English fans,” Sigrun Matthiesen Campbell told Danish website DR. “We were spat on when we entered the stadium, and people shouted insults.”
Denmark has been allocated 8,000 tickets, the majority bought by supporters who live in the UK due to strict quarantine rules for those coming from abroad. But Jorgensen saw several English fans in the Danish section and witnessed other nasty incidents before, during and after the match.
“I saw an English man walk up to this kid and try to get him out of his seat,” she said. “It was a scary experience. We had to buy our tickets through the DBU because they wanted us all to sit together. I don’t know what happened, but there were definitely a lot of English fans among us which made the atmosphere a bit numb. I think some people got a little scared because they were so aggressive.
DBU commercial director Ronnie Hansen confirmed to DR that he noticed English fans in the Danish section but said it was the responsibility of UEFA and Wembley to keep track of this . “If you’ve been through something on such a violent level, then I think you should report it,” he said.
Jorgensen and other Danish fans posted their experiences on Facebook groups for Italian expats in London ahead of Sunday’s final to warn them to be on their guard.
“We just wanted to watch a good game and have a good night – we didn’t want these problems,” she said. “There were so many people who weren’t like that, but what worries me are the Italian fans. I hope they don’t have to go through the same thing.