49 arrests in central London after England's devastating Euro defeat

12 July 2021, 07:12 | Updated: 12 July 2021, 08:48

The Metropolitan Police said 49 arrests had been made as of 1:56am on Sunday
The Metropolitan Police said 49 arrests had been made as of 1:56am on Sunday. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A total of 49 arrests were made in London overnight as fans took the streets in the run-up to and fallout from the Euro 2020 final.

The Met confirmed the figure in a tweet just before 2am, and said the arrests were for a "variety of offences".

"Our policing operation for the #Euro2020 final is drawing to a close. Thank you to the tens of thousands of fans who had good spirits and behaved responsibly," read the tweet.

"We made 49 arrests during the day for a variety of offences. We will have officers on hand throughout the night."

Read more: 'You did us so proud': Nation reacts to England's loss to Italy

Video footage from the night showed hoards of fans gathering in central London.

Crowds were seen ripping up trees and releasing flares in Leicester Square, while there were attempts to storm the fan zone down the road in Trafalgar Square.

Read more: Heartbreak for England as Italy win Euro 2020 final on penalties

Read more: FA 'appalled' as England stars given racist online abuse after Italy loss

King's Cross station was closed and evacuated following a fire alert, triggered by fans releasing flares.

Supporters without tickets also tried to force their way into Wembley Stadium.

Footage from Monday morning showed the aftermath of the game, with streets littered with rubbish and broken glass.

The Met also said that 19 officers had been injured while confronting "volatile crowds".

"Frustratingly, 19 of our officers were injured while they confronted volatile crowds. This is wholly unacceptable," the force said in a tweet.

"A big thanks to officers across London and our blue light colleagues for their part in keeping Londoner's safe and moving tonight."

At first the match looked like it was going well for England, with an early goal scored by Luke Shaw close to the two-minute mark - the fastest ever scored at a European Championship final.

Italy equalised in the 67th minute, and after extra time the game went to penalties.

They then went on to win the shoot-out, bringing heartbreak to the young England squad and millions of fans who had hoped football might be coming home.

Read more: England fans let off flares and gather in their thousands ahead of Euro 2020 final

Read more: Group of England fans breaks through barriers at Wembley stadium

The England team posted on Twitter: "This has been some journey.

"As a nation we were united in a belief that we can achieve something special after the hardest of years.

"It wasn't meant to be, but this team is just getting started. They will continue to make you proud both on and off the pitch."