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England fan wakes up in empty stadium after victory over Serbia

An England fan has gone viral on social media after publishing a video on TikTok of him waking up in the early hours of the morning inside the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen.

England fan wakes up in empty stadium
One England fan ended up staying in the Veltins Arena for longer than he had initially bargained for – Photo by Icon Sport

It was the scene of England's opening match of Euro 2024 on Sunday night and despite the match finishing at 11pm local time, one England fan was still inside Schalke's stadium at 4am on Monday morning after falling asleep inside the stadium.

It's unclear how stewards inside the stadium had failed to notice the England fan at the end of the match or where the England fan actually slept. However, the video itself is hilarious and unnerving, from a security point of view, in equal measure.

In the video, the dazed fan says: “I've just woken up, its four o'clock in the morning and I'm shivering in Schalke's ground.”

England fan wakes up in empty stadium: Further evidence of security chaos

The video of the England fan waking up inside the Veltins Arena this morning is further proof that security personnel in and around the stadium were ill-prepared.

Other footage on social media last night showed England fans stranded at the city's main train station, Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof, after the match. Reports from fans in Gelsenkirchen claimed that they were packed inside the station for three hours due to transportation problems.

In light of the incident, the England Supporters Group, the Free Lions, have called on UEFA to ensure better transportation organisation at future games. In a statement, they said:

“To see fans stranded in Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof three hours after the game has finished due to transport problems at a major tournament is quite simply ridiculous.

“Ahead of the tournament, we made it clear to UEFA and the authorities that many, many thousands of England fans would be travelling to Gelsenkirchen from the outer towns and cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, and that transport back to Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof from Arena Auf Schalke had to be the biggest priority.

“If Uefa are going to allocate a 9pm kick-off slot on a Sunday evening to any venue then they need to guarantee that transport arrangements are in place that allow all fans, including those going to fan zones, to travel safely, comfortably and conveniently both to, and crucially back from the venue.”