England boss Roy Hodgson and captain Wayne Rooney have appealed directly to fans to “stay out of trouble” following UEFA’s threat to expel the team from Euro 2016.
In an unprecedented move the pair recorded a video, shared by the Football Association on Twitter, in which Hodgson and Rooney urge supporters to do everything in their power to avoid repeats of the violent scenes which marred their time in Marseille.
Hodgson pleaded with fans to ensure UEFA’s threats to dismiss England and Russia from the tournament should there be further disturbances “are never carried out” while Rooney asked those without tickets for games not to travel.
Three days of clashes involving English, Russian and French fans provided a grim backdrop to their Group B opener at the Stade Velodrome.
The Football Union of Russia was charged by UEFA for events inside the ground – alleged crowd disturbances, racist behaviour and the setting off of fireworks – but further statements made it clear that the Football Association was also under the microscope after violent scenes in the city’s Old Port area before and after the game.
— England (@England) June 13, 2016
Hodgson said: “As England manager I am very concerned about the threat now hanging over us and the sanctions that could possibly be imposed on the England team.
“We’ve worked very hard to get here and we really desperately want to stay in the competition. I’m appealing therefore to all of our fans, and we appreciate your support at the matches of course.
“I’m appealing for you to stay out of trouble, to try and make certain these threats that are being issued are never carried out and we are able to attempt the best we can to stay in this competition by football means.”
Rooney, representing the players, added: “I’d like to thank England fans for the support inside the stadium against Russia and now we have a big game coming up against Wales. I’d like to ask the fans, if you don’t have a ticket, please don’t travel.
“And for fans with tickets, please be safe, be sensible and continue with your great support of the players. Thank you.”