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New Wembley low for England

03 Sep 2014 20:46:55

New Wembley low for England

The nation's apathy towards the England football team was highlighted in their first match since the World Cup as the friendly against Norway attracted a record low attendance.

Ten weeks on from exiting in Brazil at the group stage, Roy Hodgson's team faced the Scandinavians at a sparsely-filled Wembley Stadium.

Only 40,181 were in attendance, the smallest number to attend an England match at Wembley since it was re-built, considerably down on the 48,876 that witnessed the friendly against Sweden in November 2011.

The lack of interest meant the top tier was shut for the first time - a situation which has not surprised Football Supporters' Federation chief executive Kevin Miles.

"It was always going to be a challenge to fill the ground today," Miles told Press Association Sport.

"We're not exactly welcoming all-conquering heroes and there is no escaping the fact it is a fairly meaningless friendly against slightly less than glamorous opposition.

"It was always going to be a challenge but then to price it pretty much the same as a competitive fixture hasn't helped the cause I don't think."

PREVIOUS LOWEST ENGLAND CROWDS AT THE NEW WEMBLEY STADIUM

48,876 v Sweden (2011): England gained their first win over Sweden for 43 years but had to rely on an own goal from Daniel Majstorovic to settle the issue in the friendly international at half-full Wembley.

57,897 v Andorra (2009): Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe both scored twice to move England another step closer to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup as Andorra were swept aside 6-0, with Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch putting the seal on an emphatic win

61,607 v Moldova (2013): Danny Welbeck scored either side of half-time as England secured a straightforward 4-0 victory, capped by goals from Rickie Lambert and Steven Gerrard.

62,693 v Chile (2013): England's World Cup hopefuls were handed a reality check as a brace from then-Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez gave Chile a comfortable 2-0 win in London.

67,232 v Slovenia (2009): England warmed up for a crucial World Cup qualifier with Croatia by overcoming Slovenia at Wembley thanks to goals from Frank Lampard and Jermain Defoe.


PA

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