20m TV audience for England game

The Association of Chief Police Officers expect 6,000 England fans in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev for team's quarter final

The Association of Chief Police Officers expect 6,000 England fans in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev for team's quarter final

First published in National News © by

England's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Italy is expected to be watched by around 20 million people on television back home and 6,000 dedicated fans in Kiev.

Many will be arriving in the Ukrainian capital to cheer on Roy Hodgson's side at the 64,000-seater Olympic Stadium.

The match is likely to draw the highest peak TV audience of the year.

England's victory over Ukraine was watched by 18.6 million - beating the Jubilee celebrations - but more are expected to be glued to television screens at home and in pubs and bars across the nation tonight.

There have been no arrests of England fans in Ukraine, and the head of the British police contingent at the tournament has praised their behaviour.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Holt, representing the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said: "We've been very pleased with the way they've behaved and the response that we've had when we've spoken to fans. If you'd offered me this at the start of the tournament I would have taken it."

He added: "There have been no arrests. There have been occasions when it's got quite lively, but we've managed with our Ukrainian colleagues to intervene and prevent it escalating."

Acpo estimated 6,000 England fans would be inside the stadium tonight. They will outnumber the Italians, who have not travelled to the tournament in large numbers.

England have won just one of their last five games against the Italians.

The UK Government is boycotting the match because of concerns over human rights in Ukraine. No ministers watched the team's group games amid criticism of the treatment of Ukraine's jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, though the UK's ambassador in Kiev did attend.

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