Richmond Council has expressed severe concern regarding the behaviour of fans attending the Army and Navy match at the RFU Stadium last Saturday.
It follows many reports over the long weekend from residents expressing outrage at witnessing scenes of drunken behaviour, urination in gardens, fans passed out in the streets, attempted theft and, in one instance, a woman being hospitalised after being struck by a bottle thrown by fans in St Margarets.
Responding to the unacceptable behaviour, Leader of Richmond Council Cllr Gareth Roberts said:
“Unfortunately, in spite of measures taken to mitigate the impact of the match on our residents, such as scheduling an earlier kick off time, there was no noticeable improvement in behaviour. Match attendees now see this event primarily as a drunken, al fresco fancy dress party with the rugby match itself being of secondary importance.
“The vast majority of our residents are proud to live in the home of Rugby. They are also proud of this borough’s longstanding connection to our armed forces. However, when they see their town being trashed by people attending the Army v Navy game they find their pride and good-will being put to the test.
“It is now time for the RFU and the Armed Forces to consider whether they want to allow this fixture to continue. We have long held the belief that, if it is to continue, then the fixture should be rotated among other stadia and we will be putting that case to the RFU.
“We are now seeking an urgent meeting with the RFU and organisers of the fixture to seek reassurances that in future local residents will not experience another day of drunken, loutish behaviour which brings the RFU and our armed services personnel into disrepute. If those assurances are not satisfactorily forthcoming it is time this fixture moved out of our borough.”
— from a Richmond Council press release - 8 May 2019