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Clean up begins after football fans trash Leicester Square

Football fans took over Leicester Square yesterday, after London refused to set up official fan zones (Pictures: Getty Images/Shutterstock)

Leicester Square was left covered in beer cans, plastic bags and mud after football fans took over the West End for the Euro 2020 game. 

London’s workers have a hard day’s graft ahead of them today as they sift through the rubbish that has completely covered the city’s streets. 

Usually, football fans are able to gather in Trafalgar Square for matches against England. 

But because of coronavirus restrictions, the area was closed off as a ticketed fan zone for key workers only.

Thousands of Scottish supporters took over nearby Leicester Square yesterday and celebrated the country’s first tournament in 23 years. 

They drank, sang and even filled the world-famous Shakespeare fountain with fairy liquid to create bubbles which overflowed onto the concrete.

Social media was littered with pictures and videos of the Tartan Army, dressed in kilts and football shirts, waving the Scottish flag and belly-sliding down the rain-soaked street. 

At one point Scottish fans set off red flares and sang their unofficial fan anthem – Yes sir, I can boogie. 

Rubbish left in the fountain in Leicester Square.  London's cleaners will spend today cleaning Leicester Square after Scottish football fans took over the West End before and after the Euro 2020 game.

Fans climbed into the fountain at Leicester Square and left loads of litter in the water and the mud (Picture: Getty Images)
This is the first time Scotland’s football team has played in the tournament for 23 years (Picture: Getty Images)
London’s cleaners will have a hard days work ahead of them today as fans return home (Picture: Getty Images)
Even after Scots helped to clean up, there was a huge mess left behind (Picture: Getty Images)

Police eventually cleared Leicester Square before the end of the game, and sealed up the Square’s five entrances. 

Several fans from both sides tried to get in again but police formed a human barrier preventing it. 

However, once the game finished, thousands spilled out of pubs back into the Square despite the Metropolitan Police issuing a dispersal and banning order.

Throughout the night, 30 people were arrested – 25 in central London and five in Wembley where the game was hosted. 

Scotland Yard tweeted: ‘13 arrests were for public order offences, six for drunk and disorderly, four for assault on police, three for assault, two related to Class A drugs and one each for breaching a dispersal order and breaching a banning order.’

Hundreds of football fans gather after Euro 2020 draw of England and Scotland

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Just before the game, when many had rushed off into pubs to watch kickoff at 8pm, some Scotland fans stayed behind to help clean up after themselves. 

Photos show men in kilts and football shirts walking around with Sainsbury’s bags – filling them with rubbish. 

But the amount of litter covering the streets was too great and this morning saw most of it still strewn around London. 

There had been concerns about people uncontrollably gathering when London announced it would not create any fan zones for the Tartan Army, but Mayor Sadiq Khan was reluctant to encourage crowds in the capital. 

Thousands gathered in Leicester Square, sparking concerns over the spread of coronavirus (Picture: PA)
At one point, police sealed off Leicester Square and refused to let any fans in the area
Police arrested 30 people in London for various different offences (Picture: AP)
Some Scottish fans tried to help clean up the mess (Picture: PA)
There are remnants of last night’s celebrations all over the city

Member of Rosyth Tartan Army supporters club, Sven Lister, predicted around 20,000 fans visiting the city this weekend. 

He previously told MyLondon the lack of official fan zones would leave the Tartan Army ‘wandering’ around the city. 

As people scrambled to find pubs with available tables, with some venues charging £20 just for entrance, thousands roamed the streets. 

Scots were seen heading home today, with many clutching coffees, bottles of water and energy drinks in a likely effort to nurse a stinging hangover. 

England and Scotland ended their game with a goalless draw. 

Scotland will play Croatia in Glasgow next while England gears up to play the Czech Republic in London, both on Tuesday. 

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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