The Football Association is clamping down on the new boorish generation within England’s fan base, handing out lifetime bans for the first time after two supporters club members made Nazi gestures in Germany.
March’s friendly in Dortmund brought the worst out of some supporters, with poor behaviour in the city centre continuing inside Signal Iduna Park.
Some booed the German national anthem and sung distasteful songs referring to the First and Second World Wars, with two fans’ appalling behaviour landing them lifetime bans from the England Supporters Travel Club – the first time the sanction has been used.
One individual was spotted doing a Nazi salute in the away end, with another seen making an Adolf Hitler moustache and cut throat gestures towards the German fans.
In all, 27 members have seen their ESTC membership suspended for varying lengths of time, with six handed written warnings and another case still pending.
The boorish, alcohol-fuelled actions have embarrassed the governing body and nation as a whole, with the FA aware that some England fans’ behaviour is among the worst in international football.
FA chairman Greg Clarke condemned the “inappropriate, disrespectful and disappointing” behaviour after March’s friendly, with the governing body understood to be concerned about the new generation of louts.
A new generation of supporters, mainly male fans aged between 18 and 25, are felt to be treating England matches like a stag do, behaving differently to the old maximum-risk Category C hooligans.
Actions against such fans have been welcomed by many members, with around 100 sending positive responses within an hour of the ESTC’s request for information.
The body is the only way to obtain tickets for the away end at England matches, with tickets required to be collected in the host city before the game.
Factors such as the team’s on-field success and locations of matches means the ESTC membership is at its lowest in a long time, although the 8,000 members are expected to swell ahead of next year’s World Cup.
All applicants are vetted upon application and the number joining has increased ahead of the trips to Germany and Scotland.