Passion and respect: England fans challenged to improve behaviour against Lithuania

England fans joined their French counterparts in a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise before a friendly match at Wembley last year. It was a show of solidarity after the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2016. (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
England fans joined their French counterparts in a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise before a friendly match at Wembley last year. It was a show of solidarity after the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2016. (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
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THE Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has called on England fans to display their passion in the correct way, following the obscene behaviour of some supporters in Germany.

England’s 1-0 defeat in Dortmund on Wednesday was marred by supporters booing the German national anthem.

England's Eric Dier has called for the nation's fans to show respect.

England's Eric Dier has called for the nation's fans to show respect.

Fans were also captured singing distasteful songs referencing the First and Second World Wars.

It is understood that the FA and police are to review video footage in a bid to identify, and potentially ban, those involved.

But rather than dwell on the distasteful events Kevin Miles, the chief executive of FSF, says supporters attending Sunday’s World Cup qualifier with Lithuania at Wembley should show their passion whilst at the same time paying ultimate respect to the opposition.

“Let’s have some more passion and imagination and people singing in support of the team,” said Miles.

We want some more of that positive atmosphere and positive interaction that you do get with a lot of England fans. We enjoy the fact that we are welcomed everywhere we go.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of FSF

“We want some more of that positive atmosphere and positive interaction that you do get with a lot of England fans.

“We enjoy the fact that we are welcomed everywhere we go.

“We make positive impressions and friendships in the course of following our team.

“And we win respect for that as we go along.”

Although it was a promising night for a young Three Lions side on the field, off it the actions of some fans left a black mark against England’s name.

FA chairman Greg Clarke said: “The behaviour of a section of the England support in Dortmund was inappropriate, disrespectful and disappointing.

“The FA has consistently urged supporters to show respect and not to chant songs that could be regarded as insulting to others.

“Individuals who engage in such behaviour do not represent the overwhelming majority of England fans nor the values and identity we should aspire to as a football nation.

“We are working with the England Supporters Travel Club and speaking with the Football Supporters’ Federation to come together to address this issue.

“Everyone involved in the game has a responsibility to ensure that attending a football match is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”

And Eric Dier has urged England supporters to be respectful and back the team “in the right way” following the unsavoury behaviour of some fans in Germany.

Dier, who played the full 90 minutes, said he was unaware of the chanting but has called on fans to show respect.

The Tottenham man also hopes supporters will be considerate during Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley, where tributes are planned for the victims of this week’s terrorist attack in London.

He said in a press conference: “In general the fans have been fantastic with us. Wherever we go they’re always fantastic, the support they given us is amazing, but all we ask is they support us in the right way and be respectful.

“And of course because of the dreadful stuff that’s happened over the last couple of days in London, we just hope the fans will be very respectful of that, and us as players we’re going to respect everything in the right way and do everything to honour the people who passed away this week.”