A rough party atmosphere settled in London around England’s big game at the Euro 2020 against Scotland at Wembley Stadium – which ended in a goalless draw on Friday evening.
Thousands of Scotland supporters made their way to the capital to watch the game. And despite Covid restrictions and a limited number of tickets for the game at Wembley Stadium, Scotland fans flocked and took over parts of central London as there was no official fan zone.
During her Covid briefing on Friday, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged her Scottish compatriots to be “respectful” and said “not to act in ways that make their Covid problem worse”. The Metropolitan Police had advised fans not to travel to London unless they had a ticket to the game and the news seemed to have been completely ignored.
Mayor Sadiq Kahn had also encouraged fans without tickets to try to book somewhere to watch the game as they won’t be able to “just rock in a pub”.
Despite a clear lack of Covid protocols being followed, the Scottish fans certainly brought a party mood to England on Friday – combined with a bit of mischief.
Things went well on Thursday on an EasyJet flight to London, where a rendition of “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie”, a song that Scotland has adopted, broke out.
There were similar scenes on Thursday at train stations across London.
Once settled in with their surroundings, fans took to Leicester Square and enjoyed themselves by pouring dish soap into the William Shakespeare fountain and taking a bath.
Police later said they were keeping an eye on it …
Meanwhile, huge crowds gathered in Hyde Park, where a man somehow lost all of his clothes and was later reportedly taken away by police.
Even when the weather turned and got much wetter, the atmosphere didn’t cloud the mood.
A pub in Leicester Square ran out of food at 10:40 a.m. on Friday morning, but everyone was still in a good mood.
Michael McClean from Inverness told BBC Scotland: “It’s been an amazing atmosphere so far. I think it seems they underestimated how many would travel down for the game. It feels like a normal football event. It doesn’t feel like there’s a pandemic going on, which in some ways I don’t like, but it’s definitely good to enjoy an occasion after a year and a half. “
Emma Best of the London Assembly and the health spokeswoman for the Conservative group estimated that there will be 20,000 Scotland fans in London in the next few days, adding that there are concerns about the spread of the Delta variant. “I think it’s worrying and we have to do everything we can to control the Delta variant,” she said.
“Like it or not, Scottish fans – and we must say English fans from all over the country – will be in London by the thousands, and so we need a plan to manage this as carefully as possible.”
Disbandment orders have been issued to give the police additional powers to disband any group believed to be causing a disturbance.