No arrests made amid safety concerns at Sheffield's World Cup fan park

A fan collapsed at Devonshire Green.
A fan collapsed at Devonshire Green.

Nobody was arrested at a World Cup fan park in Sheffield last night despite chaotic scenes which left a teenage girl in hospital.

Thousands of fans packed into Devonshire Green to watch England take on Croatia in the World Cup semi-final but many reported a lack of police and security presence.

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Imogen Longden, aged 17, was hit twice by cans of beer during the match, with the second knocking her unconscious.

After being carried out through the crowd, she was taken to hospital where she underwent an x-ray and a scan on her head injuries.

There were other reports that a man was also hit on the head by a flying glass bottle thrown during the game.

Despite the chaos, South Yorkshire Police confirmed they made no arrests and praised the majority of fans for their behaviour.

Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, the force’s World Cup policing operation lead, said: “First and foremost, I’d like to thank the vast majority of football fans across South Yorkshire for their behaviour not just last night but throughout the tournament. It’s been great to see a real party atmosphere.

"We have had extra patrols and contingencies in place for every key match throughout the World Cup and there have been minimal issues over the last four weeks given the tens of thousands of people who have celebrated in pubs, bars and at public events.

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“A World Cup semi-final will always bring with it high emotions and that proved to be the case last night with England sadly losing in extra time. The TV pictures showed drinks flying at fan events everywhere around the country, particularly when England scored early in the game, sparking jubilant celebrations.

"It’s unfortunate that there were a few minor antisocial behaviour issues on such a well-behaved evening, particularly when at Devonshire Green in Sheffield, numerous people stayed behind to help clean up, just like fans have done in Russia.”

The fan park was organised by Sheffield Council after Lord Mayor Magid Magid promised a ‘massive screen’ to show England’s historic semi-final clash.

Although Sheffield Council encouraged fans to bring their own food and drink, they warned that glass would be banned at the event.

Despite this, a number of glass bottles were thrown during and after the game.

Fans also claimed that bags were not checked before entering the area and there was a lack of security guards and police at the event.

Terry Ally, of Sheffield City Council communications department, said: “A minority of individuals decided to try to spoil the evening by throwing cans last night on Devonshire Green where the event was enjoyed by more than 8,000 proud fans and was a huge success.

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"As with all our events we will carry out a review with police and other partners and pick up any issues for future planning.

“We want to thank everyone who came, who not only put Sheffield back on football’s map, but especially those who without prompting volunteered to tidy up afterwards showing real pride in the national team and the city.”