Southampton: Safety and security reasons behind barring Portsmouth-shirted fan from England match

Raheem Sterling scored in England's 5-3 victory over Kosovo at St Mary's last night. Picture: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Raheem Sterling scored in England's 5-3 victory over Kosovo at St Mary's last night. Picture: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
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Southampton have defended their decision not to admit a fan wearing a Pompey shirt to England’s clash with Kosovo.

As revealed by The News, John Westwood was turned away from last night’s Euro 2020 qualifier by St Mary’s stewards.

John Westwood was barred from St Mary's to watch England's clash with Kosovo - for wearing a Pompey shirt

John Westwood was barred from St Mary's to watch England's clash with Kosovo - for wearing a Pompey shirt

He was told by staff the refusal centred on his decision to wear a Pompey top – in this instance a purple-coloured third shirt.

According to the Football Association, match-day crowd and safety operations are led by Southampton and Hampshire police.

In a statement, the club insist the ruling was made for ‘safety and security reasons’.

They also state Westwood was warned on ‘’multiple occasions’ over attending the game in a Pompey shirt.

Although it’s a claim the Blues follower refutes.

Southampton’s statement said: ‘The police and safety plan around the game stipulated that any fan in this scenario would not be admitted for safety and security reasons.

‘This was communicated to the fan in question on multiple occasions ahead of his arrival at the stadium.’

In response, Westwood has denied he was informed not to wear his Pompey shirt.

He told The NEws: ‘What Southampton say are lies, I was not told by anybody about this before the match.

‘In fact, their lies about this have made me even more angry. Why try and cover this up?

‘I would love to hear from any Pompey fan told they shouldn’t wear our shirt at St Mary’s to watch England.’