England have sacked part of their security team after a number of players and officials said they did not feel safe at the designated team hotel in London.
G4S had been appointed to secure the entrance of the west London hotel, where the England squad stayed before matches against Croatia and Scotland. The team are due to stay there again on Monday night after they leave their training camp at Tottenham’s base in Enfield.
When England first arrived at the hotel on the evening before their opening game of the Euros against Croatia on June 13, a group of more than 50 fans surged towards the team bus.
Without any security barriers, the fans were able to get within a couple of metres of the players as they got off the bus, before being blocked by FA security guards.
Sky Sports News has learned that led to England officials telling UEFA they no longer had trust in the tournament-appointed security operation, and they have brought their own team of specialist officers in from Hans Global – the company that has overseen security inside St George’s Park for almost a decade.
The FA has told Sky Sports News that, despite this incident, there has been no Covid-19 or security breach at the team hotel, and plans were already in place to bolster security later in the tournament once the whereabouts of the England hotel became known publicly.
Since that first incident, which one eye witness described as “chaotic”, barriers have been installed around the team bus and hotel entrance to keep fans back.
G4S has told Sky Sports News that while they are no longer involved with security at England’s team hotel for this tournament, their wider contract with the FA, which provides a variety of security measures, is not under review.
They also stressed that the overall responsibility for safety for the men’s senior England team lies with the police and other security details on site, and that their responsibility was focussed on checking security badges on entry and exit – not for planning crowd control or deploying barriers.
Sky Sports News has approached UEFA for comment, but have not received a response.