Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Thursday, 29 March 2007, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
FA boss backs under-fire McClaren
England manager Steve McClaren
McClaren has come under fire from England fans
The Football Association has come to the defence of under-fire England coach Steve McClaren.

McClaren was booed by England fans during Wednesday's 3-0 win over Andorra, which followed a disappointing 0-0 draw against Israel.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick said: "I know how hard Steve and everyone connected to the team is working.

"He is a strong man and I know from speaking with him just how determined he is to deliver success for England."

Barwick added: "I, like everyone else at the FA, will be doing everything I can to help Steve and the team win their next Euro qualifier in Estonia in June."

McClaren and his players were subjected to a torrent of abuse by a large group of England fans during the Euro 2008 qualifier against Andorra in Barcelona.

There is a line to draw between acceptable criticism and personal vilification and abuse

FA chief executive
Brian Barwick

The booing and chanting reached a crescendo at the end of a dire first half against lowly opposition.

England went on to score three second-half goals, but the scoreline failed to appease England's travelling supporters, who continued to boo after the final whistle.

The FA later confirmed to BBC Five Live that the non-playing squad members sitting in the stand were forced to retreat to the dressing room shortly before half-time.

The FA said its action was "precautionary" but Five Live football correspondent Jonathan Legard added: "Pre-emptive or not, how many times have England players been the focus of such vitriol from their own followers that FA security officials have felt the need to move them out of the firing line?

"Even allowing for the inadequacy of the stewarding at the stadium, this marks a new low in relations between England players and their supporters."


Barwick said he understood the fans' frustration but felt some supporters had crossed the line in Barcelona.

"This past week has shown just how the fortunes of the England team get people's emotions fired up," he said.

"England matters and we wouldn't want - or expect - it any other way. With that, of course, on occasions comes criticism. Steve McClaren and his players know that - and so do I.

"Everyone has the right to give their opinion - that is the beauty of the game - and the England fans, the most dedicated group of supporters in the world, are entitled to air theirs.

"They spend a lot of money following their team, turn up in huge numbers - everywhere - and offer fantastic vocal support.

"Over the past two matches, they have also loudly expressed their frustration during parts of the games. I buy that as their right - no problem.

"I do however feel that there is a line to draw between acceptable criticism and personal vilification and abuse. One is fair, the other is not."

Meanwhile, Frank Lampard's agent Steve Kutner has denied reports that his player was dropped by McClaren.

Responding to newspaper rumours that Lampard could have played in the match despite suffering a broken wrist, Kutner said: "It's absolute rubbish.

"He's at hospital at the moment having X-rays. He's got a fractured radius and has ruptured ligaments.

"Chelsea are trying to get a cast made for him and approved so he can play the rest of the season."

McClaren appeals to England fans
29 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Andorra 0-3 England
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals
England Player Rater
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals
BBC pundits on England
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Euro 2008 qualifying clockwatch
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals
International photos
28 Mar 07 |  Football


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Other Sport...

Video and Audio | Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | TV/Radio Schedule

Fun and Games | Question of Sport | Photo Galleries

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us