England lost at Wembley in more than one way: England may have lost out in Wembley but even before the match ended, the stadium witnessed social distancing violations. Fans had begun to gather since morning for the match that was to begin 12 hours later. By the evening, the crowd was so thick outside the stadium that walking through was a challenge. Most had no tickets, they were there to be close to history, and to party later. This came when cases have been rising rapidly in the country. The crowds may well add hugely to that rise.
England fans outdid mass gatherings at Kumbh Mela: Most certainly, the England fans at Wembley more than outdid any mass Indian gathering at Kumbh Mela or an election rally in turning the space all around Wembley into an open air toilet. Thousands of fans gathered around the stadium had been chain drinking beer all day. And it didn’t go the way of a few outdoor toilets that had been set up. A queue of even two or three seemed forbidding and perhaps indicative of too long a wait. So, every wall and street side served the purpose. This was in full view of the police, who would normally pounce on any such activity. But in strength, as they were, too few to stop the fans, and their beer.
Pasta lifted the spirits of fans: It was perhaps the kind of spirit expected of England fans that they should have made nasty noises about Italians, with some rude suggestions on where pasta could possibly be stored. But the fans seemed to have had no hesitations about some pasta for themselves. It proved rather popular at two Italian restaurants across from the stadium that served the fans pasta quite busily through the day.
Fans make beeline for Gujarati shops: An event like a football final with England will long be remembered by everyone who was present at Wembley, if not in the happiest way, except for the small smattering of Italian fans. The happiest among all were the Gujarati shopkeepers dotted all around Wembley. They had clearly stocked up on their beer and snacks to go for the match. Queues were formed outside every Gujarati store all day. Whoever won or lost in the stadium, Gujarati shopkeepers had a little win.
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