England fans clash with police in Portugal during Nations League match screening

England fans clashing in the Portuguese city of Porto Credit: Matt Brown/PA

England football fans have caused another stir abroad in two nights of “completely unacceptable” behaviour, which have involved clashes with Portuguese police in Porto ahead of a key semi final match.

Video on social media showed police holding batons and riot shields chasing supporters as a Portugal versus Switzerland game was screened in a fan zone in the centre of Porto.

Eyewitnesses claimed fans wearing England shirts and chanting England songs started throwing drinks and bottles when Portugal scored.

In the footage, several objects can be seen flying through the air in the direction of the police, who then charge towards the fans.

Some of those watching cheered and filmed the altercation on their phones.

England are due to play the Netherlands on Thursday in the Nations League semi final, 35 miles away from Porto in Guimaraes.

Will Burns, from Wimbledon, said he felt embarrassed to be English after watching the altercation.

The 37-year-old England fan said: “Lots of Portuguese families watching the game in the fan zone, Portugal scored and then England fans started throwing drinks followed by bottles.

“Only one policeman was there. Then all the Portuguese families started running away, carrying their crying children. While England fans sang ‘England ‘til I die’.

“Embarrassing to be English.”

Matt Brown, who is in Portugal to watch England play on Thursday, said he saw three police guards in a stand-off with a group of England fans.

The 26-year-old from Cardiff said: “The bottles were flying and glass was obviously smashing on the floor. They weren’t being thrown with any precision.”

He said he believed many fans had been peacefully watching the game and were taken by surprise when between reinforcements of between 30-50 police arrived and ran towards the crowd.

England are due to play the Netherlands on Thursday in the Nations League semi final, 35 miles away from Porto in Guimaraes. Credit: PA

Asked if he felt the police response was proportionate, he said: “I don’t think it would happen back home, but given that bottles were being thrown at police officers and that obviously is a risk to life, they had a right to charge, whether they went about that indiscriminately I think is probably the nub of the issue there.”

Another England fan, who did not want to be named, said: “A couple of bystanders were injured, including an old man who had a heavy cut to his forehead

“Police responded aggressively, but they were definitely reacting to being targeted by projectiles.”

Only last week senior footballers were warning fans to behave themselves abroad as the Football Association released its “Don’t Be That Idiot” campaign ahead of the competition.

Video on social media showed police holding batons. Credit: PA

Leicester defender Harry Maguire told fans to “Go and have a good time”, adding “there needs to be boundaries and I’m sure they will stick to them”.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council football policing lead said: “Earlier this evening Portuguese police deployed riot officers against a group of England fans in the main square area of Porto.

“It is believed the fans had been throwing bottles at Portugal fans who were watching the match in the same area.

“This is the second evening in a row where disorder has occurred in Porto. Last night there were issues outside a bar, where bottles were thrown and minor damage was caused. It is completely unacceptable.

“The behaviour we are witnessing is incredibly disappointing and again I would point fans towards the recent video from the FA – ‘Don’t be that idiot’.

“The behaviour of a small number of the England fans out here continues to tarnish the reputation of the genuine fans who are simply trying to enjoy the football.”