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scum-ing home England fan hooliganism threatens Ireland and UK’s World Cup bid, says ex FIFA chief

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Former FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty

Former FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty

Supporters trample on barricades outside Wembley Stadium. Photo: David Cliff/AP

Supporters trample on barricades outside Wembley Stadium. Photo: David Cliff/AP

A fan stands with police in central London on Sunday. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA

A fan stands with police in central London on Sunday. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA

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Former FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty

A former Fifa vice-president has warned that plans to bring the 2030 World Cup to the UK and Ireland could be in jeopardy.  

Jim Boyce was speaking after crowd trouble marred the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy on Sunday.

Uefa has opened a disciplinary investigation into the chaotic scenes at the match at Wembley, London .

Up to 5,000 ticketless fans are believed to have forced their way into the stadium ahead of kick-off.

Yesterday Mr Boyce, who was Fifa vice-president from 2011 to 2015, said the ugly scenes may now damage the joint UK-Ireland bid to host the World Cup in nine years’ time.

There is “no doubt” the behaviour of some individuals at the game “will make people think about where the World Cup is awarded”, Mr Boyce, who is honorary life-president of the North’s Irish Football Association, said.

“People at Fifa will obviously take a dim view of what happened. First of all, we had the laser incident in the semi-final at Wembley,” he said , referring to a laser being shone on Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel from the crowd.

"We then had the disgraceful booing of the national anthems and then we had the morons running amok trying to get into the stadium on the night of the final.

"So obviously it does not do English football or the FA any good what happened.

“I sincerely hope it will not damage the bid. England have the stadiums and they have the facilities in the UK to host this bid along with Ireland.”

In March British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was the "right time" for the UK and Ireland to launch a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

Likely rivals to host the competition include Spain and Portugal; Morocco; a joint Argentina-Chile-Paraguay-Uruguay bid; and a joint Bulgaria-Greece-Romania-Serbia bid. The host will be confirmed in 2024.

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Mr Boyce said the work of England’s footballers to “unite the country” was “tremendous” but he added: “I think the behaviour of some people off the pitch has damaged it quite severely.”

“It’s happened in other countries as well to be fair but it’s not the first time hooligans have ruined the reputation of English football,” he said .

"It’s happened before and we thought we’d got away from those days but there are people who want to bring the game people love back into disrepute.”

Yesterday it was reported that the Wembley capacity was 5,000 over the designated figure of more than 60,000.

Eyewitnesses reported genuine ticket-holders being afraid to confront people occupying their seats.

England’s Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham said a full review would take place into what had happened.

Uefa said it has asked an ethics and disciplinary inspector to investigate events involving supporters inside and around the stadium."

Uefa has also charged the FA over a pitch invasion during the match, which Italy won on penalties, and over the throwing of a firework, the throwing of other objects and disturbing the Italian national anthem.

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