A SOUTH Yorkshire police officer overseeing the UK police delegation which travelled to Moldova for England’s World Cup qualifier has praised the behaviour of fans.
Superintendent Rachel Barber, in charge of policing games in South Yorkshire, said congestion at the single entry point to the stadium in Chisinau, Moldova, on Friday and a heavy Moldovan police presence inside the ground presented fans with a challenging situation - but said they demonstrated patience and humour and trouble was averted.
Supt Barber said: “In Moldova the England fans continued to project a very positive image.
“There were no arrests and no incidents were brought to the notice of the UK police delegation by the Moldovan authorities. “The good humour and passion for the game of the England fans was typified by the good-natured gatherings in bars and cafes around Chisinau.
“At the stadium their enthusiasm was again obvious and they are to be commended for their forbearance and adaptability in coping with an unfamiliar policing style and obvious linguistic barriers.
“This behaviour will form part of our briefings to host police forces for future England games and will, hopefully, continue to enhance the reputation gained over the last few years of England fans as passionate, noisy but good-humoured followers of their national team.”
Kevin Miles, of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said: “It is refreshing to see the conduct of England fans, which has been transformed over recent years, attract the praise and recognition it deserves.
“All we ask is that we are policed on the basis of our behaviour and not our now long-outdated negative reputation.”