Fans of the England national team have been praised by British police for their conduct at last Friday’s World Cup 2014 qualifying match in Chisinau, Moldova.
Congestion at the single entry point to the stadium and a very heavy Moldovan police presence inside the ground presented fans with a challenging and potentially difficult situation, but the patience and humour they demonstrated ensured a positive outcome and won plaudits from the authorities.
Superintendent Rachel Barber of South Yorkshire Police, who headed the UK police delegation at the game, said:
“In Moldova the England fans continued to project a very positive image. There were no arrests and no incidents were brought to the notice of the UK police delegation by the Moldovan authorities.
“The good humour and passion for the game of the England fans was typified by the good natured gatherings in bars and cafes around Chisinau. At the stadium their enthusiasm was again obvious and they are to be commended for their forbearance and adaptability in coping with an unfamiliar policing style and obvious linguistic barriers.
“This behaviour will form part of our briefings to host police forces for future England games and will, hopefully, continue to enhance the reputation that has been gained over the last few years of England fans as passionate, noisy but good-humoured followers of their national team.”
Kevin Miles of the Football Supporters’ Federation said:
“It is refreshing to see the conduct of England fans, which has been transformed over recent years, attract the praise and recognition it deserves. The FSF is committed to working alongside other UK agencies such as the police to ensure that host police forces wherever we travel are also aware of what to expect. All we ask is that we are policed on the basis of our behaviour and not our now long-outdated negative reputation.”
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