England supporters have taken to Twitter to complain about the treatment that they are receiving in Naples ahead of the match between the Three Lions and Italy. Some fans were fearful that they would not arrive at the stadium before the 7.45pm kickoff as the buses went ‘the wrong way’.
Gareth Southgate’s side face Italy at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Thursday night in their first match of Euro 2024 qualification.
Some of the committed supporters may not have made it to the stadium for kick-off though, with numerous fans taking to Twitter to complain that the routes that their coach drivers took were longer than anticipated.
TalkSPORT journalist Faye Carruthers tweeted: “Been speaking to many England fans arriving at the game (and those still not here) who say it’s been farcical trying to get here – have friends who’ve been on a bus for 90 mins (it’s a 25 min journey) – the bus went in the opposite direction to the stadium.
“They’re not likely to make KO – crammed in with standing room only. One fan said the English police outside were “embarrassed” as nothing they said would happen organisation-wise has.”
Other fans complained about how they were treated before entering coaches to head to the stadium. One supporter wrote: “Still on the coach and it’s been nearly an hour. Police took water bottles off everyone before boarding.” Another added: “Literally every England fan getting on these buses has been photographed, their ID photographed too, what is going to be done about that?”
Violence between supporters had been feared prior to the match, with authorities of both countries putting strict plans in place to minimalize the risk of any confrontations breaking out. The FA took action against one England fan earlier on Thursday who was seen with a flag that read ‘Diego’s in a box’, in reference to Napoli legend Diego Maradona who has passed away.
The image was widely condemned on social media, prompting the British authorities to identify the individual and pass the information on to the FA, who cancelled his ticket. They then released a short statement that read: “We strongly condemn the actions of the individual who travelled to Naples with a flag that had a highly offensive message on it. We immediately took steps to have their tickets cancelled before the match. The matter will be reviewed further when we return to England.”