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Carnival NFL atmosphere at Wembley despite increased security

Amid the increased and stringent security measures at Wembley, NFL fans still enjoyed a wonderful carnival atmosphere with bars, streets and the tailgate all rammed under the baking autumnal sun before the Baltimore Ravens faced the Jacksonville Jaguars. Security has been tightened further at Wembley after the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, including one nine days ago at Parsons Green underground station . There was a strong and obvious security and police presence at the stadium ahead of the game, but it did not detract from the enjoyment of supporters. When walking out from Wembley station, supporters were greeted by numerous police officers and newly laid stone barriers had been stationed at the top of Wembley Way – cloaked in a rather fetching green-turf covering – while police vans blocked off either end of Engineers Way. The Baltimore Ravens’ band take a walk through the huge crowds here at Wembley . Not only do they have to hold on to their instruments, but also dodge the flying footballs which are peppering the air.

0:19 The league’s clear-bag policy was implemented with supporters holding their belongings in transparent plastic bags, with small purses permitted in the stadium . Ravens-Jaguars is the first of four NFL games to be held in London before the end of October, with one more at Wembley and two at Twickenham, the home of England’s rugby team.

“We have not been advised of any threats to our games or events,” read a statement from NFL UK. “We have been and will continue to work in close coordination with law enforcement and intelligence personnel in both countries, along with our teams, our security staffs and outside specialists to ensure the safety of our events. “We will constantly be reviewing the issue in the days and weeks leading up to our games. “We have played 17 regular-season games to date safely and successfully in the UK and look forward to four great games in London this season.”

Fans who had flocked to the game were also subject to being scanned with hand-held metal detectors, while police, sniffer dogs – with their handlers flown over from America — and security walked among the fans as they enjoyed the official tailgate party and various other sideshows laid on for the event. It was all part of the enhanced security operation implemented by the Football Association, who own and run Wembley, and they also recommended to supporters they should arrive as early as possible to avoid being held up by the searches and various security measures at Wembley. Huge queues at the Tailgate with bag searches and thorough security causing one almighty queue . Everyone in good spirits with all manner of shirts on display with Ravens and Patriots’ jerseys seemingly the most popular.

Carnival NFL Atmosphere At Wembley Despite Increased Security

The staff themselves were reminded of their need to prioritise supporter security in a handbook handed to them when they arrived for work at Wembley . Called the ‘Teammate Playbook’, it includes a line saying: ‘I make safety a non-negotiable’. There was a wonderful atmosphere at Wembley and one Baltimore Ravens fan had travelled over to London for the first time to watch her team in action . She said she was loving her time in London, vowed she would be back as soon as possible and was appreciative of the security measures in place. The Maryland flag has made its way to London’s Wembley Stadium . More and more Ravens fans are filing into the stadium.

Carnival NFL Atmosphere At Wembley Despite Increased Security

Wide receiver Mike Wallace gives a nice pre-game gift to a Ravens fan in London by tossing a ball in the stands during pre-game warmups

0:28 The 1-1 Jaguars are playing their fifth game at Wembley, where they have a 2-2 record . The Ravens are playing outside of the U.S . for the first time.

Carnival atmosphere at Wembley despite increased security for NFL’s return

Amid the increased and stringent security measures at Wembley, NFL fans still enjoyed a wonderful carnival atmosphere on Sunday with bars, streets and the tailgate all rammed under the baking autumnal sun before the Baltimore Ravens faced the Jacksonville Jaguars. Security has been tightened further at Wembley after the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, including one nine days ago at Parsons Green underground station . There was a strong and obvious security and police presence at the stadium ahead of the game, but it did not detract from the enjoyment of supporters. When walking out from Wembley station, supporters were greeted by numerous police officers and newly laid stone barriers had been stationed at the top of Wembley Way — cloaked in a rather fetching green-turf covering — while police vans blocked off either end of Engineers Way. The Baltimore Ravens’ band take a walk through the huge crowds here at Wembley . Not only do they have to hold on to their instruments, but also dodge the flying footballs which are peppering the air.

0:19 The league’s clear-bag policy was implemented with supporters holding their belongings in transparent plastic bags, with small purses permitted in the stadium . Ravens-Jaguars is the first of four NFL games to be held in London before the end of October, with one more at Wembley and two at Twickenham, the home of England’s rugby team.

“We have not been advised of any threats to our games or events,” read a statement from NFL UK. “We have been and will continue to work in close coordination with law enforcement and intelligence personnel in both countries, along with our teams, our security staffs and outside specialists to ensure the safety of our events. “We will constantly be reviewing the issue in the days and weeks leading up to our games . We have played 17 regular-season games to date safely and successfully in the UK and look forward to four great games in London this season.”

Fans who had flocked to the game were also subject to being scanned with hand-held metal detectors, while police, bomb-sniffing dogs — with their handlers flown over from America — and security walked among the fans as they enjoyed the official tailgate party and various other sideshows for the event. It was all part of the enhanced security operation implemented by the Football Association, who own and run Wembley, and they also recommended to supporters they should arrive as early as possible to avoid being held up by the various security measures at Wembley. Huge queues at the Tailgate with bag searches and thorough security causing one almighty queue . Everyone in good spirits with all manner of shirts on display with Ravens and Patriots’ jerseys seemingly the most popular.

Carnival Atmosphere At Wembley Despite Increased Security For NFL's Return

The staff were reminded of their need to prioritise the security of supporters in a handbook they received when they arrived for work at Wembley . Called the “Teammate Playbook,” it includes a line saying: “I make safety a non-negotiable.” One Ravens fan, who had travelled to London for the first time to watch her team in action, said she was loving her time in London and vowed to come back again in the future, and was appreciative of the security measures in place. The Maryland flag has made its way to London’s Wembley Stadium . More and more Ravens fans are filing into the stadium.

Carnival Atmosphere At Wembley Despite Increased Security For NFL's Return

The 1-1 Jaguars are playing their fifth game at Wembley, where they have a 2-2 record . The Ravens are playing outside of the U.S . for the first time.

Cologne criticise ‘inadequate’ Arsenal security measures

Last Updated: 15/09/17 6:35pm

Extra police were deployed at Emirates Stadium after fan disorder before kick-off

Cologne have criticised “inadequate” security measures at the Emirates after crowd issues in their Europa League tie with Arsenal.

UEFA has charged Arsenal with blocking stairways in the away supporters section of the stadium during the Group H fixture, while Cologne face four counts – crowd disturbances; the setting off of fireworks; throwing objects; and acts of damage.1

Arsenal have already begun an investigation into the incidents, which led to five people being arrested following crowd disturbances. Arsenal have announced they are undertaking a full review into the events on Thursday, and said “the safety of everyone in and around Emirates Stadium is always our paramount consideration”. Cologne have condemned the incidents, which saw the game kick off an hour late, but believe it would have been “sensible” for the German side to be given more than their 3,000-seat allocation, with another 17,000 of the club’s supporters understood to have made the trip to London. “Due to the enormous demand for tickets, it would have been sensible, not least for security reasons, to allow more than the allocated five per cent of stadium capacity to the guest fans,” a Cologne statement read. “It was apparent that thousands of people from Cologne would seek to avoid the restrictions and get tickets in every way possible.

Arsene Wenger believes it would be ‘completely unfair’ for UEFA to punish Arsenal for the crowd violence which marred the win over Cologne

“One such way would be through the help of Arsenal supporters, who passed on their tickets to the FC fans . Some as gifts, but some also for horrendous prices.” Arsenal have acknowledged a number of away supporters had gained access to home sections “illegally, most likely via ticket touts”. The Premier League club also confirmed that anyone who became an Arsenal member after the UEFA Europa League draw would not have been eligible to buy tickets through their box office or ticket exchange services.

The safety of everyone in and around Emirates Stadium is always our paramount consideration.

Arsenal statement

An Arsenal statement read: “Any tickets found that have been sold or purchased illegally will be traced back to the original purchaser who will have their membership cancelled and the appropriate action taken.

“We are satisfied that the joint decision to delay the match by one hour and play with a 9.05pmkick-offf was the best and safest option . This was the first time in 20 years of European competition we have had to take such an action . Ultimately the match passed off safely.”

Cologne insist they, along with Arsenal, urged fans to purchase tickets only through official channels, and although the club believe the match going ahead was the correct decision, they questioned the security measures in place. “Despite the tremendous experience of both the London security forces and Arsenal as a permanent partaker in European football, the organisers were unfortunately not adequately prepared for the task,” the statement continued. “In our view, the security concept and communication seemed inadequate and the police force too small.

In our view, the security concept and communication seemed inadequate and the police force too small.

Cologne statement

“The most important common goal of having the match played on the same evening was achieved by allowing fans with valid tickets to quickly take their seats . This procedure proved to be the correct decision . Finally, the course of the match showed that the mixing of home and away fans did not constitute a safety risk for this match.” Cologne apologised to Arsenal for “a group of so-called disturbers” which they said “threatened, insulted, and even attacked stewards and police officers without cause”.

Chelsea vs Arsenal

September 17, 2017, 12:30pm

Live on Cologne Criticise 'inadequate' Arsenal Security Measures

However, the Bundesliga side remained adamant they were not responsible for this minority.

The statement continued: “These people are solely responsible for the fact that a football match with a special meaning for an entire region, as well as the courageous effort of our team on the pitch, had to be overshadowed by scenes that had nothing to do with sport and fair play.”

Arsenal are back in Premier League action this weekend as part of a Super Sunday double-bill .

Coverage of Chelsea v Arsenal begins at 12:30pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event, followed by Manchester United v Everton.

References

  1. ^ UEFA has charged Arsenal with blocking stairways in the away supporters section of the stadium during the Group H fixture, while Cologne face four counts – crowd disturbances; the setting off of fireworks; throwing objects; and acts of damage. (www.skysports.com)