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The Final: Attack on Wembley Netflix review

On 8 May, Netflix released an 81-minute long documentary called ‘The Final: Attack on Wembley'.

It follows the crowd trouble outside and inside Wembley Stadium on the day of the UEFA Euro 2020 final played between England and Italy. Here is a review of the film, which depicts a dark day in English football history.

Proud to support this England team

The documentary follows the events of Sunday, 11 July, 2021, in chronological order, including interviews with journalists and also fans with and without tickets who travelled to Wembley for the final.

In the early stages, there is a lot of talk about the excitement of England reaching their first major tournament final since 1966, following a successful campaign.

It eloquently depicts the togetherness and vibrant culture created by Gareth Southgate in recent years, with star players such as Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling playing leading roles in guiding the Three Lions to the final.

Attack on Wembley
Gareth Southgate has helped restore national trust and support for the English football team – Photo by Icon Sport

Attack on Wembley: A chronological timeline of events on Sunday, July 11, 2021

The documentary then focuses on the events of the day, with footage of fans climbing on bollards, buses, and traffic lights in London on the morning of the match. Social media clips and videos taken from phones depict significant levels of alcohol consumption and class-A drug usage.

When thousands of fans congregate on Wembley Way, many of these fans are without a ticket, and the carnage begins to erupt. The immense stress put on stewards and security staff comes across on screen throughout.

When thousands of fans invaded the turnstiles just after 5pm, it is evident how much pressure the police were under to control the situation. With the stadium not full because of COVID restrictions, ticketless fans sensed an opportunity to “jib” their way into the stadium, which resulted in a number of “near misses,” putting people’s lives at risk across the venue, according to a report commissioned by the FA in December 2021.

Conclusion

Netflix conveys the ugly and dangerous events of Sunday, July 11, 2021, which include the shameful racial abuse of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, who all missed penalties in the shootout of the final.

The documentary picks up on the racial abuse not only on social media but also on Wembley Way, with England fans targeting fans and stewards. Perhaps most depressingly is the interview with a British-Asian England fan who says that the racist abuse targeted at the black England players after the game was totally expected.

Overall, the documentary successfully conveys the disgraceful behaviour of so-called fans, who ruined what was supposed to be one of the proudest days in English football history. The bravery of the stewards, who were completely outnumbered by fans across the ground on the day, is evident throughout.


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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