‘Ultra-nationalist’: England fans face ban if they sing ‘10 German bombers’ chant at Wembley Euro 2020 showdown
The war-themed chant, which references Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers taking down German planes, has been labeled ‘ultra-nationalist’ by some anti-discrimination groups but continues to be sung by sections of Three Lions supporters.
Ahead of the big showdown with old foes Germany at Wembley on Tuesday night, the FA has warned fans against “discriminatory or disrespectful” behavior.
“We always encourage our fans to positively get behind the team, and this includes supporting England in the right way, before, during and after the match,” the FA told the Telegraph.
“This message will be shared with them once again before Tuesday's fixture, as well as thanking them for their support.
“We will also strongly condemn any behavior at Wembley Stadium that is discriminatory or disrespectful, and we will take action where appropriate as we try to ensure all England matches are a safe and enjoyable experience.”
The chant was reportedly heard during the 1-0 win against Croatia at the start of Euro 2020, prompting official complaints from anti-discrimination network FARE. The group has branded the chant ‘ultra-nationalist’.
Fans were hit with bans from the England Supporters Club back in 2017 for singing the song at a match against Germany in Dortmund, although that has not discouraged sections of the Three Lions faithful from chanting it.
It was heard at the World Cup in Russia in 2018, where one group of England fans brought inflatable RAF bombers along with them as they gathered on Red Square in Moscow.Also on rt.com England fans chant ‘10 German bombers’ WWII song on Moscow’s Red Square (VIDEO)
The game on Tuesday will see England and Germany rekindle their rivalry at a major tournament, with the Germans having had much the better of their past meetings.
England famously beat West Germany to lift the World Cup at Wembley in 1966, but since then have suffered agony time and again at the hands of the Germans, including a World Cup semi-final defeat on penalties in 1990 and a spot-kick defeat in the semi-finals of Euro 96.
The last time they met at a major tournament was at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when Germany sent England packing with a 4-1 defeat at the last 16 stage.
The UK authorities have given the green light for a crowd of up to 45,000 at Wembley for the game on Tuesday, which will be around 50% of total capacity.
However, a minimum number of Germans are expected to make the trip due to the stringent Covid restrictions in place between the two countries.