UEFA threatens to eliminate England, Russia over violence
UEFA has warned English and Russian football authorities that their national sides could be expelled from Euro 2016 if fan violence continues.
Three days of fighting between English fans, their Russian counterparts, local gangs and police in Marseille dominated the build-up to Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Stade Velodrome.
Mere minutes after Vasili Berezutski had scored a last-minute equaliser for Russia, sections of their support stormed over a tarpaulin barrier towards English supporters, who fled over barriers.
Saturday night in Marseille saw more flashpoints, as riot police fired teargas into squares, bars and restaurants as more fighting erupted.
And UEFA have warned that they will not hesitate from taking strong actions against the teams, if their fans do not curb such behaviour.
A statement read: “The UEFA Executive Committee would like to express its disgust for the violent clashes which occurred in the city of Marseille.
“Such unacceptable behaviour by so-called supporters of the national teams of England and Russia has no place in football, a sport we must protect and defend.
“The UEFA Executive Committee has warned both football associations that – irrespective of any decisions taken by the independent disciplinary bodies relating to incidents inside the stadium – it will not hesitate to impose additional sanctions on the Football Association (FA) and the Russian Football Union (RFU), including the potential disqualification of their respective teams from the tournament, should such violence occur again.
“We urge both the FA and the RFU to appeal to their supporters to behave in a responsible and respectful manner.
“We would also like to publicly voice our support for the work of the French Authorities and security forces for their efforts to deliver a safe and secure tournament in challenging circumstances.”
Britain’s ambassador for France confirmed that England fans had been hospitalised, while arrests have been made on the two days before matchday, as well as before, during and after the game.
• Culled from Soccerway.com
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