Soccer has landed at home. After Saturday night’s emphatic 4-0 win over Ukraine in Rome, the England team flew back to their base at St George’s Park in Staffordshire for a day of rest, table tennis and Love Island to catch up. . The remainder of his Euro 2020 will be played at Wembley. The only question now is whether it will be one or two more games: on Wednesday awaits a semi-final against Denmark. Win that and they will play next Sunday against Italy or Spain in their first European Championship final, and their first grand final since the 1966 World Cup.
The 60,000 fans who were able to go cheer on Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and an increasingly optimistic England team will represent the largest crowd to gather in the UK since the pandemic began. Gareth Southgate, England’s coach, has been clear about the value of playing at home in front of fans who cannot attend any kind of match for so long. And if the mood against Germany last week was anything to go by, thanks to a crowd of 41,000, fans won’t let the opportunity go unheard.
Only a few tickets remain for England v Denmark. Those that were on general sale were bought as soon as they became available last week and on Monday, a few hundred will be sold to members of the England Travel Supporters Club. England currently has an allocation of around 8,500 tickets for the match, but most of them are already reserved by ETSA members. It is understood that another 3,000 tickets are likely to be made available, after Denmark reduced its allocation to 5,000. These tickets could be made available to the ETSA and the FA says they are working with UEFA to “finalize the full allocation and secure more tickets.” All ticket holders will need to show a negative coronavirus test to enter Wembley or provide proof of two doses of a vaccine 14 days before a game.
Southgate and his increasingly optimistic team know that support from across the country on Wednesday will run into the tens of millions. The BBC said that Ukraine’s match had been the most-watched live television event of the year, beating the audience for a 2-0 victory over Germany, with a peak television audience of 20.9 million viewers (81.8 million). % of viewers available tuning in) and an average of 19.8 million viewers. There were also 5.2 million streams on iPlayer and BBC Sport online.
The largest audience ever recorded for an England match was 25.2 million shared between ITV and BBC during the England-West Germany semi-final at the 1990 World Cup. Due to the agreement between the two broadcasters, ITV will show the semi-final on exclusive. Like the team itself, the commercial station has a chance to break a hoodoo: of all the tournament matches shown by ITV since 1998, the Three Lions have won only four times.
Saturday night’s defeat served up the now-familiar scenes of fan zones across the country basking in beer, with an estimated 6 million pints sold by pubs at night. While arrests were made in central London after England fans began impromptu celebrations around Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, Met police said the gatherings were “largely personable.”
There were also more inspiring stories from new fans who got to enjoy the game. A Twitter thread from Shaista Aziz, who works with the FA’s Refugee and Asylum Seeker Soccer Network, celebrated the team’s inclusive spirit and how it made it easy for all fans to support England. Aziz posted a photo of her and her friends watching the game with the caption: “Three Hijabis walk into a bar to watch the Three Lions lash Ukraine.”
Government sources say there are no plans to increase the number of fan parks available to socially estranged crowds before the semifinal.
While England is rallying a nation behind them, Denmark has taken over the label of “everyone’s second team”. After the cardiac arrest of their most accomplished player, Christian Eriksen in his opening match against Finland, the Danes have shown incredible collective strength, culminating in a 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.
#LondonCalling is now the preferred hashtag of the Danes who will play in their first international semi-final since winning the European Championship as last-minute replacements in 1992. They have a solid record against their next opponents, having lost only once to England. in their last six competitive matches, a second-round match at the 2002 World Cup in Japan.
With Denmark on the UK government’s amber list for travel, and Danes must be quarantined for 10 days upon arrival in the country, fans will not be able to travel to attend the game. Instead, there is a concerted attempt to rally Britain-based Danes to come to Wembley.
A tweet from Ronnie Hansen, the Danish Federation’s head of business activities, said it was the patriotic duty of all expatriates to be there. “Now ALL Danes living in England must take part in the fight!” He wrote. “Do you know a Dane in England or Scotland? They must carry the torch of the best fans in the world. There are a lot of tickets for Danes in the UK and they have to go AMOK! “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism