Tommy Robinson has defended himself after he was filmed sucker punching an England fan at last night’s Nations League match, claiming he acted in self-defence after the man was abusive towards him.
After footage of the punch spread online, the EDL founder posted a video on social media in which he said: ‘[That man] has come up to me twice, getting rowdy, getting abusive, being aggressive.
‘I said to the man’s friend: “Keep that man away from me, he comes back up to me again like that and watch what happens to him.”‘
He added: ‘I acted in self-defence. He was the aggressor.
Tommy Robinson has spoken out to defend himself after he was filmed hitting an England fan in the face at last night’s game, saying he acted in ‘self-defence’
Tommy Robinson was caught on film hitting an England fan in the face outside the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in Portugal ahead of England’s game against the Netherlands
‘I had been trying to walk up there and he kept getting in my face. I thought he was going to punch me the first time.’
Robinson said he was called a ‘w****r’ and told: ‘F*** off. What you doing here?’
‘It’s self-defence because I’m not going to wait for him to beat me up in front of my missus,’ he added.
He said the incident happened in front of security staff, who allowed him into the game. It is not clear if he will face legal action.
Robinson also claimed that the men he is surrounded by in the video are not his friends but the victim’s friends, and that he was only accompanied by his wife.
His wife is not visible in the video because he told her to walk away before throwing the punch, he claims.
After the man turned around to say something else, Robinson hit him in the face.
However, that account does not tally with one that a witness, who wished to speak anonymously, gave to Mail Online.
The fan said that one of the men walking alongside Tommy picked out the victim – shouting ‘that’s the one’ moments before Robinson lashed out.
The EDL founder and former leader was walking alongside fans when someone appears to have made a remark to him, prompting him to lash out
He said Robinson did not say anything the entire time, and walked off quickly after.
He confirmed that Robinson was allowed into the stadium afterwards, and was seen lining up for drinks at the bar with a blonde woman – believed to be his wife.
Football banning orders
A football banning order prevents fans from going to any regulated football match, either in England and Wales or abroad, after a conviction for a football-related offence.
The minimum term for an order is three years and maximum six, unless the offender received an immediate prison sentence for their crime, in which case the minimum is six years and the maximum ten.
Before away matches in a foreign country, those with banning orders must surrender their passport to a police station, unless they have an exemption.
This means they cannot travel abroad at all while England are playing.
Robinson was hit with a banning order in 2016 for waving a ‘f*** ISIS’ flag at a Euros match, but won a subsequent appeal against it.
The incident was captured on video which shows Robinson outside the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes wearing a camo jacket.
Video seems to show a man walking alongside Robinson’s shouting ‘who said that’ at a group just ahead of him.
As one of the group turns around, Robinson hits him in the face, sending him sprawling to the floor as friends step in to protect him.
In the aftermath of the punch, Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – walks calmly away as a man’s voice is heard saying: ‘You’ll get knocked out again, bruv.’
Other supporters can be heard shouting: ‘Go on, Tommy lad.’
England lost their semi-final to the Netherlands game 3-1 in extra time, knocking them out of the Nations League tournament.
Robinson had uploaded another video of himself to social media ahead of the game wearing the same jacket and saying he was in Portugal to watch.
In it, he winks at the camera, saying: ‘I’m in Portugal, going the game. No football banning order here mate.’
Robinson recorded a video of himself ahead of the game wearing the same jacket and saying: ‘I’m in Portugal, going the game. No football banning order here mate’
The remark is a reference to the banning order he was handed in 2016 for waving a flag reading ‘f*** ISIS’ at a Euros match.
Bedfordshire Police issued him with a football banning order on his return to the UK, saying he was inciting hatred against Muslims.
However, he won a subsequent appeal after his lawyers argued the order was a ruse to prevent his political protests and a judge found the evidence to be ‘vague’.
Robinson was also convicted of football hooliganism, having led 100 Luton Town fans in a clash with supporters of Newport County in 2010.
He yelled ‘EDL til I die’ while encouraging fans to fight.
Fans in Porto were heard chanting Robinson’s name ahead of the first Nations League match between Portugal and Switzerland on Wednesday.
Around 500 gathered outside Ryan’s Irish bar in Porto early on Wednesday forcing the owner to close after groups sang loud football chants outside his bar for the second consecutive night.
Fans in Porto ahead of Wednesday night’s game between Portugal and Switzerland were heard chanting Robinson’s name
Police were brought in to corral around 500 fans outside Ryan’s Irish bar on Porto’s waterfront as they chanted ‘No surrender to the IRA’ and ‘Tommy Robinson – he’s one of our own’
Some urinated in side streets and police called in teams of street cleaners to clear piles of bottle and broken glass once the rain came down and forced the supporters to disperse.
They sang ‘No surrender to the IRA’ and ‘Tommy Robinson – he’s one of our own’ as Portuguese police hemmed them into a small area to help contain them.
Robinson also a history of fighting at sporting events other than football – and in 2017 was caught on video brawling at Ascot.
The far-right activist claimed he acted in self-defence after being attacked, but witnesses said Robinson threw the first punch.
The video emerged on Twitter just weeks after Robinson was left humiliated in the European Elections when he ran as a candidate in the North West.
Standing as an independent candidate, Robinson lost his £5,000 deposit after failing to win enough votes.
Tommy Robinson arrives at his count in Manchester last night. He failed in his attempt to become an MEP for the North West of England
In total, he got 38,908 votes, or 2.2 per cent of total ballots cast. He also finished behind UKIP, the party which he advises.
The far-right agitator – who was twice targeted by milkshake-throwing protesters during his controversial campaign – blamed being banned from Facebook and Instagram for his loss.
Before leaving the Manchester Central venue, he told his followers on the Telegram private messaging app: ‘Disappointed to say the least. They (the votes) are not in but they are in … at the same time what do you expect?
‘Going through the votes we have certainly not got a place as a MEP but I want to say a special thank you to every single person who supported.’