England supporters band… banned! Troupe blocked from Donbass Arena despite UEFA approval
17:30 GMT, 11 June 2012
Sponsors Pukka Pies are to make an official protest to UEFA after the England band was refused entry into the Euro 2012 encounter with France in Donetsk.
The band have travelled 2,500 miles by road to get to Ukraine for tonight’s game.
But despite assurances from the Football Association and UEFA, the band were not allowed to bring their instruments into the Donbass Arena.
Silence! The band were allowed in… after their instruments were confiscated
The England band have been a feature of Three Lions games for the past two decades and estimate they have been present for over 300 consecutive matches.
Tonight is the first time they have been refused entry to a game and no reason was given for the decision.
The band were allowed entry once their instruments had been confiscated and the authorities said they will be returned after the final whistle.
Fine voice: The England fans made themselves heard… after they'd passed through security (above)
'We are going to make an official protest about this matter,' said a spokesman for Pukka Pies, who are sponsors of the band.
'There were no grounds for taking this disgraceful action, which is over-zealous in the extreme.
'Needless to say, we intend the band to be back in its rightful place by the time we get to Kiev for the Sweden game on Friday.'
Net result: Joleon Lescott headed England in front after 30 minutes