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England supporter's band silenced by Ukraine authorities

The England Supporters Band were unable to play at the France game after having their instruments confiscated at the stadium in Ukraine. Band leader John Hemmingham said Monday's match against France was the first time the group had not played at an England game in 16 years.

Mr Hemmingham said: "The FA had done all of the necessary agreements but it was overturned at the last minute.

"We got ready to play half an hour before kick-off and then stewards came up to us and said, 'no, we've made a mistake you have to take the instruments out now, you can't play'.

"We had to put our instruments in storage."

The band, which provides music to add atmosphere to each England match, sat throughout the game at the stadium in Donetsk, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

"It was kind of weird," Mr Hemmingham said. "Fans were asking where our instruments were."

Mr Hemmingham said the band was due to meet with the FA and the stadium management to resolve the issue before England's game on Friday against Sweden.

"We've been all over the world - different countries and tournaments," added Mr Hemmingham.

A spokesman for the FA and it would not comment on the matter until discussions had taken place.

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Dave Williams

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