The Football Association is to contest a charge brought against it by Uefa, the European game's governing body, over the conduct of England's supporters during the Group D victory against Sweden at Kiev's Olympic Stadium on Friday.
Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings citing the "inappropriate conduct" of England's fans in what it deems to have been an attempted pitch invasion during the 3-2 success. Between 20 and 30 supporters surged to the perimeter barriers at the stadium – the venue where the Euro 2012 final will be staged on 1 July – as they celebrated the second‑half goals from Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck that have left the national team a point away from reaching the quarter-finals.
The incidents are to be dealt with by Uefa's control and disciplinary body, which has the power to impose a fine if necessary, on Wednesday, with the FA to submit written evidence ahead of the hearing in the belief it has a strong case to make a successful challenge. It will argue the rush to the hoardings was born of exuberance rather than a co-ordinated attempt to invade the pitch, and will also point to a post-match report by a Uefa delegate present at the game which describes the conduct of their fans as "satisfactory".
The FA's written submission will include evidence compiled by the UK police and its own fans' liaison representative, who was at the match. England sold around 2,500 tickets for the game – their fans were heavily outnumbered by Swedes at the fixture – although the foreign office has estimated that up to 5,000 English fans were there.
Croatia were fined £20,298 last week over the behaviour of their fans at their opening Euro 2012 game against Republic of Ireland, a match they won 3-1 and which included their fans setting off and throwing fireworks, and a pitch invasion by a spectator. Any fine for the FA would likely be much smaller.