England fans criticised for singing shameful '10 German bombers' chant hours after London Westminster attack

Jack de Menezes
The Independent
The chants were not made by a small handful, but dozens who sang loud enough to be heard on television: AP
The chants were not made by a small handful, but dozens who sang loud enough to be heard on television: AP

England fans have been criticised by manager Gareth Southgate after a section of supporters inside the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund were heard singing a deplorable chant about “10 German bombers”, just hours after the London terror attack.

England supporters booed the German national anthem ahead of the international friendly on Wednesday night, which finished in a 1-0 victory for the reigning world champions, and chants referencing the First and Second World Wars were then heard during the first half of ITV’s live broadcast.

The shameful chant has been used for a number of years by England fans in a bid to taunt their German rivals, and yesterday’s scenes attracted plenty of criticism on social media given its timing. Four people died in London after an attacker drove through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing into the gates outside Westminster and fatally stabbing a police officer. The assailant is among the four dead, with 40 injured.

England manager Southgate did not want to delve into the use of the chants, but he did urge fans to support the team “in the right way at all times”.

"To be honest, I didn't hear what was said but it has been mentioned to me," Southgate said after the match.

"Obviously our travelling support in terms of number and the way they back the team is brilliant.

"We would encourage them to do that in the right way at all times."

However, plenty of social media users condemned the disgraceful chant, with one commenting that it “beggars belief” that they would do such a thing little more than six hours after the Houses of Parliament were targeted in a terror attack, while another added that they had “lacked class” when the circumstances surrounding the day should have caused them to behave appropriately.

The Football Association has announced that the victims of the London attack will be remembered ahead of Sunday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday.

"Our thoughts are with all of those who have been affected by this terrible incident," FA chairman Greg Clarke said ahead of the match in Germany on Wednesday.

"We will be recognising the bravery of the security services and all those involved at the England vs Lithuania match on Sunday."

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