‘Appalling’ England Fans Criticised After More than 100 Arrests in Amsterdam

Police chiefs have condemned the “appalling” behaviour of a “large number” of England football fans after dozens were arrested in Amsterdam.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said the arrest of 100 England fans in the Dutch capital on Friday was the most for a single game in “several years” and part of a “worrying trend”.

It comes after 25 England supporters were held on Thursday amid ugly scenes before England’s friendly win over the Netherlands.

Amsterdam Police said “mostly drunken” fans had thrown beer bottles towards officers and a mobile unit was deployed as “unrest by the English supporters grew larger in the city centre”.

Deputy chief constable Mark Roberts, the NPCC’s lead for football policing, told Sky News: “Last night resulted in the largest number of arrests for a single game we have seen for several years and, unfortunately, it follows a worrying trend observed at recent fixtures.

Police chiefs have questioned why the match was played on Friday night

“It also brings into question the wisdom of having this game in Amsterdam on a Friday night.

“The police were not consulted before the fixture was announced and we would have raised significant concerns had we been.

“We had a large contingent of UK officers in Amsterdam working with the Dutch police and we will now conduct an investigation to seek banning orders against those responsible.

“The behaviour of a large number of England supporters was appalling; it was witnessed by our officers and any attempts to downplay it are wide of the mark.

England fans outside a bar in Amsterdam

“The sad fact is that the drunken mob’s behaviour reinforces the negative stereotype of England supporters, and will impact on the treatment all fans can expect when they follow the team abroad.”

Amsterdam Police said 102 people were arrested on Friday, including “100 Englishmen” and two Dutch fans.

Thirty five of those arrested spent the night in cells and 94 were fined, police said.

Eight people were still being questioned “mainly for violence against the police”, the force added.

England manager Southgate had urged supporters to behave on the eve of Friday’s friendly and criticised fans who booed the Dutch national anthem before the game.

Gareth Southgate criticised fans who booed the Dutch national anthem

“I heard some of the booing of the anthem which obviously isn’t acceptable,” Southgate said.

Football Supporters’ Federation chief executive Kevin Miles said: “England fans have worked hard over the last decade or so to improve their reputation and disorder has become a rarity.

“It is not in the interests of the regular England followers for the anti-social behaviour to creep back in as it will inevitably impact on how we are received and treated by host police forces elsewhere.”

The trouble in Amsterdam comes a year after unsavoury scenes marred England’s friendly against Germany in Dortmund.

Then, two people were caught making Nazi gestures, prompting the England Supporters Travel Club to hand out lifetime bans for the first time.

A total of 27 members were suspended for their behaviour in Dortmund.

England fans are preparing to travel to Russia for the World Cup this summer after violent clashes between the two countries’ supporters at Euro 2016 in France.

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