Rob Ackroyd said he intended comments to attack hooliganism
Florence And The Machine guitarist Rob Ackroyd has apologised after writing a tweet in which he wished harm on England’s fans at the Euro 2016 tournament.
In a tweet which he has since deleted, Ackroyd wrote “I hope the English fans are getting a good kicking” on Saturday, following the violence in Marseilles, where England fans clashed with locals and an organised gang of England’s opponents Russia.
Ackroyd’s tweet was picked up on by former England international Stan Collymore. The Talksport pundit reposted Ackroyd’s message, simply adding: “Really?”
As other England fans rushed to condemn Ackroyd, the guitarist wrote: “I meant ‘hooligans’, but wrote ‘fans’. It was a misplaced sentiment. I hope no-one gets a kicking. All hooliganism is abhorrent. Peace and love.”
In a Twitter conversation with one fan, Ackroyd explained: “I wrote it after bad behaviour in France. Not any of it is localised to English hooligans. It was totally misplaced. Hooliganism is a scourge and it ruins the game for everyone. It’s all so sad.”
Another fan wrote: “Let’s be honest, you know what you meant. However, now someone’s died, you’re trying to cover yourself. Sound right?” Ackroyd responded: “You’re a crazy person. I wrote it after reading about English hooligans. It’s awful what’s happening out there.”
Florence And The Machine are on a US tour. They return to the UK to headline Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time at Hyde Park on July 2, on a bill also featuring Kendrick Lamar, Jamie xx and Cat Power.
England and Russia have been threatened with expulsion from Euro 2016 following the violence around their 1-1 draw on Saturday. However, French police have been widely condemned for inadequately handling the fans and failing to arrest any Russian supporters, after it was reported that their supporters instigated a planned attack on England fans.