England fans have been warned singing pro-Brexit chants at their World Cup game against Belgium could lead to punishment by world football governing body FIFA.
Three Lions fans have been warned against “displaying insulting or political slogans in any form” at their final Group G match against the Belgians in Kaliningrad on Thursday, which could bring sanctions against the FA.
According to the Daily Telegraph, a FIFA spokesman said: “Of course, there is a risk of some kind of punishment to the FA.”
Pro-Brexit chants were heard from England fans during their 2016 European Championship before the vote, and Thursday’s match is the first between England and Belgium since the UK voted to leave the EU that summer.
Political chants are unlikely to be top of the agenda for England fans in Kaliningrad; the song on everyone’s lips seems to be the popular “Football’s coming home”, following the team’s 6-1 drubbing of World Cup first-timers Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.
The result made it two wins from two for England, following their 2-1 injury-time win over Tunisia in Volgograd, the scene of the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II in which nearly 2 million people died.
After that game, two England fans were filmed making Nazi salutes and singing songs glorifying the Holocaust in the city. They subsequently received football banning orders.