This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.
Looking after England fans at the World Cup is a complex, multi-agency job involving two Government departments, the FA, UK Football Policing Unit, ACPO, and the FSF. The Foreign Office have just released details of the consular assistance they provided to England fans during the World Cup in Brazil and they explain more of their work below…
It is estimated that 20,000 England fans visited Brazil over the course of the tournament. Official ticket sales through the UK were the fourth highest, behind Brazil, the United States and Argentina. When not following the England team to Manaus, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, many fans enjoyed themselves in Rio de Janeiro, where the England team were also based between matches.
“The vast majority of England fans were GREAT ambassadors for the country and the number requiring assistance was low. The Be on the Ball campaign helped fans prepare and we will look to do something similar for the Olympics,” says Alex Ellis, Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Brazil. The majority of the 22 arrests were for ticket touting. 75 Emergency Travel Documents were issued to fans whose passports were lost or stolen. 11 hospitalisations were mostly for minor injuries.
Consular teams were available 24/7 throughout the tournament to assist those who did need our help. This included a mobile team sent to each city where England played, working alongside the Football Supporters’ Federation and six UK police officers. A dedicated World Cup Consular Helpline also operated 24/7.
World Cup Travel Advice was updated regularly throughout the tournament and received nearly 40,000 individual views since the start, and nearly 80,000 times since the launch in December.
If you have any enquiries for FCO consular staff before you go or while abroad you can now ask questions via the FCO’s new Twitter service @FCOtravel. This service adds to the ways that British people travelling or living overseas can already get in touch with the FCO: on Facebook, by emailing the travel advice team or contacting local consular staff.
Brazil 2014 stats:
The FSF blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed are those of the author and they don’t necessarily represent FSF policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn’t be attributed to the FSF.
Portuguese Primeira Liga side Tondela are the stars of this week’s And finally… with four of the green and yellow striped knackers conspiring to miss an open goal against Chaves. The main culprit, however, has to be forward Cristian Arango with some very ropey finishing. Incidentally – they lost.
Ahead of the World Cup in Russia this summer your Free Lions team have been feverishly beavering away getting the lowdown on all the potential venues England fans could end up in. In what could be described at best as a tense political climate, it’s arguably more important than ever that fans are informed before they follow England to this summer’s tournament.
Most fans heading out to the tournament this year will have already purchased their 2018 World Cup tickets, whether you are supporting England, indulging in some football tourism by taking in some other games, or a bit of both. With your tickets in the bag your planning for Russia is likely to be in full swing. So with the tournament less than 100 days away what’s next for travelling supporters?