Fans battle in Wembley's stands

A bloodied fan arguing with a steward as England and Scotland supporters clash during the game at Wembley. A fine is probably the more likely outcome instead of point deductions, which will scarcely hurt leaders England.
A bloodied fan arguing with a steward as England and Scotland supporters clash during the game at Wembley. A fine is probably the more likely outcome instead of point deductions, which will scarcely hurt leaders England.PHOTO: REUTERS

Incidents mar England's 3-0 win over Auld Enemy that's likely to seal Southgate's future

LONDON • An England fan was left covered in blood following a brawl in the home supporters' section during the World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Wembley on Friday.

Video footage also showed fights breaking out between both sets of supporters as the hosts won 3-0.

One video showed two men throwing punches in a stand as other supporters try to pull them back, reported The Mirror.

The footage, which was sent via Snapchat, shows the men lashing out as one punches the other in the head repeatedly.

Stewards were on hand quickly to break up the fight and police arrived soon after to isolate the fan who appeared to come off worst.

Another shot appeared to show a fan having his eyes gouged.

The incidents came hours after Scottish supporters - some 14,000 had been expected to travel to London - descended on Trafalgar Square, climbing on the iconic lions, swimming in the fountain and littering the landmark with empty beer cans and rubbish.

The unsavoury incidents marred what was otherwise an excellent occasion as both sets of supporters in the stadium impeccably observed the minute's silence on Remembrance Day.

However, England and Scotland face an uncertain wait to discover if they will face sanctions after proceeding with a contentious poppy tribute to Britain's war dead, in contravention of Fifa rules banning "political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images".

Their football associations could face disciplinary action if the world governing body's match commissioner mentions the armbands in his official report.

The two teams could face point deductions but a fine is thought to be a more likely outcome.

One person was arrested in Trafalgar Square on suspicion of common assault, while a second was arrested at Baker Street station on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly. But police were unable to confirm if anyone was nabbed at the stadium.

On the field, headers by Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill secured the victory that may well land interim manager Gareth Southgate the role full-time.

"Tonight is down to the players, they have shown what they are capable of," he said of the Three Lions' performance.

Scotland are now six points adrift of Group F leaders England, for which Gordon Strachan could pay with his job.

But he refused to be rushed into decisions about his future, saying: "If you think I'm thinking about myself now, or worrying about myself, you don't know me."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 13, 2016, with the headline 'Fans battle in Wembley's stands'. Print Edition | Subscribe