England

Gareth Southgate: Behind-closed-doors Italy clash 'an embarrassment'

Krishan Davis
Southgate faced the media on Friday
Southgate faced the media on Friday / OLI SCARFF/GettyImages
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Gareth Southgate has labelled it 'an embarrassment' that England will have to face Italy behind closed doors on Saturday.

The ban on spectators comes as a result of the ugly scenes that marred the Euro 2020 final at Wembley last year, with ticketless fans storming the stadium and clashing with police and stewards.

European football's governing body UEFA handed the FA a two-match spectator ban as a result, although the second of those is suspended.

Only 3,000 supporters will be able to attend Saturday's Nations League encounter at Molineux as a result, and the majority of them will be children.

England fans were in the spotlight again earlier this week, with seven arrested before the clash with Germany in Munich - including for performing Nazi salutes.

In a press conference ahead of what happens to be a rematch of the Euro 2020 final, England manager Southgate was asked whether he was ashamed that the country must serve such a ban.

"If it is an embarrassment, it is for England as a country. A lot of the people that caused the problems I'm not certain were football fans," he said.

"We spoke enough about it, we spoke about it after the final and when the punishment was first given, what I will say is the vast majority of our fans who travelled to Germany on Tuesday behaved brilliantly, a big thank you to them because maybe people were thinking something different but there were a huge majority who were a credit."

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