England made history as the side reached its first major tournament final since winning the World Cup in 1966, after beating Denmark 2-1 in a gripping encounter at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday. Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions had to come from behind to win and, as the match went into extra-time, a rebounded penalty decided the result. Southgate told the UEFA website: “I’m so proud of the players.
“It was an incredible occasion to be a part of. The fans were incredible all night.”
England will now face Italy in the final after the Azzurri beat Spain on penalties on Tuesday.
While many have tried to keep politics out of this tournament, because it is the first European Championships since Brexit was concluded, it has automatically gained a considerable international political value.
Pierre-Etienne Minonzio wrote for L’Equipe that in France there is a feeling that UEFA have done everything they can to help England win because of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Moreover, when asked if French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would want to see England winning the Euro 2020, Swedish MEP Peter Lundgren told Express.co.uk: “From the experience I have…
“I would say they would definitely not be in favour of England winning.
“They never like [it] when the UK is successful.”
As tensions across the continent rise, unearthed reports reveal how in 2018, England fans were told their team could get punished for pro-Brexit songs during their World Cup game against Belgium.
FIFA, the world’s footballing governing body, confirmed the Football Association would be sanctioned if Three Lions supporters were found in breach of its rules on “displaying insulting or political slogans in any form”, and “uttering insulting words or sounds” during the match in Kaliningrad, Russia.
Asked what would happen if pro-Brexit chants were sung against Belgium, a spokesman told The Telegraph: “Of course, there is a risk of some kind of punishment to the FA.”
Pro-Brexit England fans were vocal about their voting intentions at the 2016 European Championship, with chants such as “F*** off Europe, we’re all voting out” heard during a series of riots in Marseille that almost got the Three Lions thrown out of the tournament.
After the June 23 ballot had taken place, the song morphed into: “F*** off Europe, we all voted out.”
There was no evidence of the chant being repeated at the World Cup.
In April 2016, it also emerged French and German UEFA officials wanted to file a legal petition suspending England from the Euros in the event of Brexit.
The motion, which would have also impacted Wales and Northern Ireland, cast the three home nations into a legal limbo just days before the start of the Round of 16 of the Euro 2016 football championships.
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Jurgen Loos, the former German central midfielder who was spearheading the Franco-German proposal, said at the time: “Solidarity is a core principle in Europe, and this is true in the great game of football no less than trade or politics.
“If Britain leaves, then we should be clear: ‘out’ means ‘out’.”
Draft legal documents seen by The Telegraph also set out contingencies for dealing with angry English fans whose Euro 2016 tickets and EU passports would have been automatically invalidated in the event of Brexit.
Yuro Baloni, spokesman at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, declined to comment until the petition had been formally filed, but sources said that the plan had gathered sudden momentum after England’s stunning 3-2 friendly win over Germany in Berlin in April 2016.
The proposals sparked a furious reaction from pro-Leave campaign groups.
A group said: “This is yet another shameless attempt to rig this referendum.
“It is now clear that voting to ‘Leave’ Europe on June 23 is the only way to ensure England wins back the World Cup in 2018.”
A spokesman for ‘Britain Bigger and Better in Europe’, the pro-Remain group, said the UEFA plan was a foretaste of the chaos Britain faced if it left the EU, adding that voters had been given yet another reason to “think very carefully” before stepping through the exit door.
A spokesman added: “Anyone who thinks UEFA referees will treat any of the home nations kindly after a vote to ‘leave’ on June 23 is deluding themselves.
“We’ll be shown the red card the first chance they get, guaranteeing German dominance for years to come.”
The petition never saw the light of day.