How are England fans expected to avoid trouble if they're not even safe in the stands?
What the actual fuck is going on?
In cases of sporadic street fighting and pub brawls you can excuse an element of disorganisation on the part of the police. It doesn't reflect well on preparation or intelligence, but such trouble can be hard to predict and problematic to control.
But in a football stadium, hosting a prestigious international tournament, there is no excuse for hooligans running amok with no barrier to their advances, nor protection for the innocent supporters that they are intent on harming.
England fans are in the news for all the wrong reasons at the moment. Some of the behaviour is abhorrent, and it seems a small minority are intent on confirming all the worse stereotypes of the English abroad. That said, the provocation is there.
Some England fans will cause trouble no matter what. Other supporters will avoid clashes at any costs. But a number want to both attend the football and have a drink or five with their mates. They won't go looking for trouble, but will react if trouble finds them.
The problem with the England fans' reputation is that it becomes a self-fulfilling phenomenon. Ultras from other nations will seek English fans out and instigate a ruckus whether they want one or not. It's a badge of honour to batter the 'original' hooligans.
Like it or not, when such trouble erupts, it is the English who attract the majority of the media attention and blame. There's some utter wankers who still follow the national team around like a bad smell and everyone is unfairly marked with their stench.
England fans trying to get away from Russia fans in stadium pic.twitter.com/aOZI8n3Bjs
— Mike Anstead (@mike_anstead) June 11, 2016
But the very least you would hope is that law-abiding supporters would be safe within the stadium on the night of a match. Alas the scenes immediately following the final whistle of England's 1-1 draw with Russia at the Stade Vélodrome proved that that's not the case.
In images that were reminiscent of 1980s terraces, hundreds of Russian troublemakers charged at the English contingent in the connecting section of the stand. Armed with fireworks, they hurdled seats to attack, regardless of the presence of families and children.
Not expecting such a planned attack, the England fans made a run for it to try and escape, but this led to a build-up at the fenced off end of the stand towards the tunnel. The mass stampede could very easily have resulted in major injuries with thousands concentrated into one end.
Of course UEFA have subsequently condemned the behaviour but why did it happen, and what will they do to stop it? Fuck all we expect, other then a stern telling off and a pointless fine. Russia will still host the World Cup in 2018 and many of our fans will be nervous to attend.
England supporters aren't perfect - far from it - but what are they meant to do to avoid trouble when trouble follows them wherever they go, even into the stands of a game?
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) June 11, 2016
— Ian Herbert (@ianherbs) June 11, 2016
— Andrew (The Gib Show) 🦄🏴 (@Gibney_A) June 11, 2016