Every England fan who has a ticket to the game against Republic of Ireland will today receive a letter from Roy Hodgson asking them to refrain from offensive chanting of a religious or political nature.

The last time the Three Lions and the Republic met 18 years ago, the game had to be abandoned after 27 minutes due to rioting by England fans at Lansdowne Road.

The history between the two countries means there is potential for trouble and for offensive chanting such as the 'no surrender (to the IRA) song to take place, but the FA wants neither to occur tomorrow night.

And the English Defence League's antics following the butchering of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich last week may prompt a minority to capitalise on the simmering tensions to air bigoted sentiments at the stadium.

The FA is therefore sending an emailed letter to every England fan who has a ticket to the match, requesting they do not chant songs which might cause offence.

england ireland 1995

A general view of England fans at Lansdowne Road in 1995

In the letter England manager Hodgson says: "Ahead of the Ireland fixture, on behalf of The FA, I would like to ask our supporters to please respect our opponents and welcome them in the right way.

"Wembley is considered the world over as the home of football and we ask those attending to not take part in any chanting - particularly of a religious or political perspective - which could cause offence to our visitors or fellow fans."

Hodgson will also ask England fans to refrain from such chants in his programme notes for the match, which is close to a 90,000 sell-out.

Another reason the FA took the action is because it received a letter from FIFA following England's friendly win in San Marino two months ago asking it to remind fans not to engage in offensive chanting.

It was reported at the time that England fans sang a song which suggested Rio and Anton Ferdinand should be burned on a bonfire.

roy hodgson ireland england

Hodgson fans is keen for England fans to respect their Irish counterparts


It has been suggested the song that was reported to be heard had racist overtones because Anton Ferdinand was the target of racist abuse from former England captain John Terry. FIFA has since decided to take no action.

The Football Association of Ireland is understood to support the FA's stance, but it is not expected to issue a similar statement to the 10,000 away fans expected at Wembley.

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  • General view of the crowd

    15 Feb 1995: General view of the teams and supporters as the match is abandoned after 27 minutes due to crowd trouble during the International Friendly between Ireland and England in Dublin, Ireland. Ireland were leading 1-0. \ Mandatory Credit: CliveBrunskill/Allsport

  • IRELAND V DUBLIN FANS HURL DEBRI

    15 Feb1995: England Fans hurl debris in the friendly international against Ireland in Dublin

  • IRE V ENG VIOLENCE

    15 FEB 1995: ENGLAND FANS, MANY DISPLAYING THE NAZI SALUTE, ON THE TERRACES AT LANSDOWNE ROAD DURING THE VIOLENCE THAT HAD THE IRELAND V ENGLAND GAME ABANDONED. Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK/ALLSPORT

  • IRELAND V ENGLAND

    15 FEB 1995: A IRISH FAN IS HELPED AWAY BY STEWARDS AFTER BEING HIT BY A MISSILE AS ENGLAND FANS RIOT DURING THE IRELAND V ENGLAND FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL AT LANSDOWNE ROAD IN DUBLIN. THE GAME WAS ABANDONED AFTER 27 MINS. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill/ALLSPORT

  • IRELAND V ENGLAND

    15 FEB 1995: A IRISH FAN IS HELPED AWAY BY STEWARDS AFTER BEING HIT BY A MISSILE AS ENGLAND FANS RIOT DURING THE IRELAND V ENGLAND FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL AT LANSDOWNE ROAD IN DUBLIN.THE GAME WAS ABANDONED AFTER 27 MINS. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill/ALLSPORT

  • England ''fans'' hurl debris at the fans below

    15 Feb 1995: England fans hurl debris at the fans below during an International Friendly match against Ireland at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, Ireland. The match was abandoned with Ireland leading 1-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill/Allsport

  • General view of the English fans

    15 Feb 1995: General view of the English fans during the International Friendly match against Ireland in Dublin, Ireland. The match was abandoned after 27 minutes due to crowd trouble with Ireland leading 1-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill/Allsport

  • Jack Charlton

    15 Feb 1995: Jack Charlton (centre) Manager of the Ireland team talks to the press during the International Friendly match against England in Dublin, Ireland. The match was abandoned after 27 minutes due to crowd trouble with Ireland leading 1-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill/Allsport

  • General view of the English fans

    15 Feb 1995: General view of the English fans during the International Friendly match against Ireland in Dublin, Ireland. The match was abandoned after 27 minutes due to crowd trouble with Ireland leading 1-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill/Allsport

  • JACK CHARLTON IRELAND V ENGLAND

    THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND MANAGER, JACKCHARLTON, IS GRIM FACED AFTER THEFRIENDLY MATCH AGAINST ENGLAND ATLANSDOWNE ROAD, IN DUBLIN, WAS ABANDONEDFOLLOWING VIOLENT CLASHES AMONGST THECROWD.

  • FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS IN DUBLIN

    ENGLISH FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS AREESCORTED BY THE GARDA TO THE FERRYTERMINAL AT DUN LAOGHAIRE AFTER THEFRIENDLY MATCH BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OFIRELAND AND ENGLAND AT DUBLIN'SLANSDOWNE ROAD WAS ABANDONED AMIDVIOLENT SCENES ON THE TERRACES.

  • PA NEWS PHOTO 15/2/95 TROUBLE ERUPTS IN THE CROWD DURING THE FRIENDLY MATCH BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND AND ENGLAND AT LANS...

    PA NEWS PHOTO 15/2/95 TROUBLE ERUPTS IN THE CROWD DURING THE FRIENDLY MATCH BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND AND ENGLAND AT LANSDOWNE ROAD IN DUBLIN

  • FOOTBALL SUPPORTER AT FERRY TERM

    ENGLISH FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS AT DUNLAOGHAIRE FERRY TERMINAL FOLLOWING THEABANDONMENT OF THE FRIENDLY MATCHBETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND ANDENGLAND, AT DUBLIN'S LANSDOWNE ROAD,DUE TO VIOLENT SCENES ON THE TERRACES.