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You wear the badge: FA urge supporters to behave in France

An England fan wearing a Rooney shirt was led away by police on Tuesday. Credit: Niall Carson/PA

The FA has sent a letter to England supporters to urge them to "act in a positive and respectful way" during the remainder of the Euro 2016 tournament.

England fans were involved in ugly clashes with Russia supporters in Marseille last week, and there is genuine fear tensions will rise in Lille on Wednesday.

Russia play Slovakia in the city on Wednesday, whilst England and Wales supporters are congregating in the French city ahead of their match in nearby Lens on Thursday.

Russia supporters attacked their English counterparts in Marseille. Credit: Nick Potts/PA

In the letter sent to England members, Martin Glenn, the FA's Chief Executive Officer, acknowledged not all fans were involved in the violence in Marseille but pleaded with fans "not to react to provocation".

He advised fans to avoid "isolated areas in Lille and Lens" and "continue to respect our hosts in France".

Extra police have been drafted in to Lille and there is a drinking ban in public places, with bars in the city closing at midnight.

Trouble flared briefly in Lille on Tuesday evening as England, Wales and Russia supporters were involved in a confrontation outside a bar near the city's train station.

Dear Member,

First of all let me thank you for your terrific support at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday evening.It was wonderful to be part of such a noisy and passionate England support from start to finish.

While the focus of this letter is to look forward to the Wales match on Thursday, we recognise that some of you were subjected to acts of violence from rival supporters in the stadium last weekend. It was truly appalling behaviour but you reacted admirably in difficult circumstances. We acknowledge UEFA’s ruling against the Russian Football Union today.

Turning towards ourselves, you will be aware that UEFA has warned us of our fans' contribution to the anti-social and violent scenes in Marseille leading up to the Russia match. It is something we take very seriously and while tens of thousands of you acted impeccably, there was a minority that did not.

Like the England team, you represent the badge and I urge you to act in a positive and respectful way.

We are all excited by the prospect of the derby match against Wales on Thursday. However, given the events mentioned and the close proximity of our match to Russia v Slovakia in Lille on Wednesday afternoon, a high-level security meeting was held today in Lille by UEFA, the French authorities, UK police with ourselves and The Football Association of Wales present.

The authorities have implemented the following measures:

· A ban on the sale of alcohol and drinking in public places until 6am on Friday 17 June.

· Alcohol can be served in bars/restaurants, with only plastic containers allowed for drinking on outdoor terraces

· A ban on all cans and glass bottles on the streets, including soft drinks

· All bars to close at midnight

· No alcohol can be carried on public transport from Lille to Lens

It is my great hope this fixture will be enjoyed in a lively but peaceful fashion, and we can all do our bit to stay as safe as possible by avoiding isolated areas in Lille and Lens and not reacting to provocation. We have been advised that the official Fan Zone is the safest place to meet beforehand, and fans will be able to have a drink here.

There will also be a larger, more visible police presence in both Lens and Lille, with officers in the stadium. UK police will deploy more English and Welsh police spotters and have a UK Police commander working alongside their French counterparts in the control room.

As ever, we will continue to be guided by the authorities to help safeguard supporters and provide necessary assistance. For the latest information please go to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france.

I know Roy and the players value your support and we must not let the disorder of a minority define the way the rest of the world sees us.

Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and we will work with the relevant authorities to identify those supporters involved and issue sanctions where appropriate to our members.

UK police also will monitor any such behavior and those committing offences could face arrest or additional sanctions such as Football Banning Orders when they return home.

I ask you all to take heed of the advice being given and to continue to respect our hosts in France.

Thanks for your continued support.

Be safe. Be responsible. Enjoy the game.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Glenn

– The FA

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