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FA to introduce bag ban for England-USA friendly

London’s Wembley Stadium is set for its largest safety operation to date when England’s national football team hosts the United States in a friendly match next month.

For the first time, the English Football Association is issuing a total ban on bags. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the organisation had been advised that the national stadium remains a “prime security target”.

Last week, a deal for US businessman Shahid Khan to buy Wembley was dropped and Glenn said the costs of running the stadium are only set to rise.

Glenn told the Daily Telegraph: “The annual rate of capital expenditure (on Wembley) at this stage annually is about £15m (€16.9m/$19.2m). Everything is big and as a percentage of what the stadium costs, if you talk to real estate experts, that is probably on the low side. That’s without step-change events and I think, looking into the future, we will have to spend a lot of money. Wembley was designed in the 1990s, built in the 2000s and it kind of looks like it.”

On the issue of security at Wembley, Glenn added: “We know from security forces that Wembley is a prime target. The next match, when America play here, for the first time we are doing a bag-drop where you can’t take bags in. You will get to airport-style security at some point. Just think of the Manchester (Arena) bombing.”

Khan dropped his bid for the national stadium last week after admitting that it had proved more divisive than expected. Khan had made an offer worth £600m in cash and £300m in future revenue from Wembley’s hospitality business.