Exclusive: Football Association could face Fifa fine over 'xenophobic' chanting from England fans in Germany

Ben Rumsby
The Telegraph
Chants about the Second World War and the IRA were audible in the away end in Dortmund - Rex Features
Chants about the Second World War and the IRA were audible in the away end in Dortmund - Rex Features

The Football Association are in danger of being punished by Fifa over the sick chanting which marred England’s friendly with Germany.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that the FARE network, which administers the global game’s anti-discrimination monitoring system, was on Friday planning to report the singing of ‘10 German bombers’ by Three Lions supporters to Fifa as a xenophobic offence.

If the world governing body also deems the song to be discriminatory, it could fine the FA a minimum £20,000.

England could yet be reported as well over alleged Nazi salutes and the chanting of ‘No surrender’ during Wednesday night’s game in Dortmund if concrete evidence emerges that they took place.

FARE did not have an observer at the match, which was not classed as a ‘high-risk’ friendly under a monitoring system introduced two years ago.

But it was planning to submit to Fifa as evidence television footage of the clearly-audible singing of ’10 German bombers’, the lyrics of which mock German casualties during the Second World War.

The FA could also unwittingly land itself in more trouble after deciding to liaise with the UK Football Policing Unit to review video footage to identify anyone guilty of anti-social behaviour, including Nazi salutes.

Any punishment of the FA would set a precedent that could eventually lead to England being thrown out of the World Cup unless their fans cease the odious chanting for which they have become notorious.

The FA – desperate to avoid a repeat during tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania – will be hoping its commitment finally to eradicate something that has dogged Three Lions matches for years helps avert serious action by Fifa.

Increased security for England vs Lithuania | Ben Rumsby

Those spectators involved on Wednesday night face being thrown out of the England Supporters Travel Club and even being hit with a Football Banning Order for behaviour FA chairman Greg Clarke branded “inappropriate, disrespectful and disappointing”.

The FA’s patience with England’s fanbase snapped over chanting which took place hours after Britain suffered its worst terrorist attack since 7/7.

The singing provoked widespread condemnation on social media, as well as from the former chairman of the Bomber Command Association, Malcolm White, a veteran of conflicts in the Falklands, Belize and the former Yugoslavia.

Clarke, meanwhile, said: “The FA has consistently urged supporters to show respect and not to chant songs that could be regarded as insulting to others.


“Individuals who engage in such behaviour do not represent the overwhelming majority of England fans nor the values and identity we should aspire to as a football nation.

“We are working with the England Supporters Travel Club and speaking with the Football Supporters’ Federation to come together to address this issue.

“Everyone involved in the game has a responsibility to ensure that attending a football match is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”


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