Sports Trends

Euro 2016: France deports 29 Russian fans over violent conduct

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French police have begun the deportation of 29 Russians following violent clashes with England supporters in the early days of the Euro 2016 football (soccer) tournament.

More than 35 people were injured in Marseille late Saturday after British and Russian fans brawled in and around the Stade Velodrome. After the match ended in a 1-1 draw, Russian supporters charged the English side, forcing fans to flee and climb fences in a desperate bid to escape.

The Kremlin denounced the violence and called on Russians to not react to provocation at the tournament.

“This is absolutely unacceptable. We count on Russian citizens and fans to obey the laws of the country they are in,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He called on Russian sporting officials and groups to use all their influence to ensure that Russia fans behaved themselves at the tournament.

European football’s governing body, UEFA, charged the Russian national team a fine of $168,000 Tuesday, and said the team will be disqualified if their fans continue to engage in violent behavior.

People run after police fired tear gas following clashes after the Euro 2016 soccer championship group B match between England and Russia in Marseille, France on June 11, 2016.
People run after police fired tear gas following clashes after the Euro 2016 soccer championship group B match between England and Russia in Marseille, France on June 11, 2016.

That was not the only incident at the month-long tournament Saturday. In Nice, violence between Northern Irish football fans and local residents injured seven people.

UEFA condemned the violence, stating “people engaging in such violent acts have no place in football.” And the sport’s world governing body, FIFA, said “idiotic troublemakers” caused what it called “shameful” violence.

On Sunday, there was a minor clash between opposing fans in Lille’s central square before the Germany-Ukraine match in that city. Because of the problems, the French government has decided to ban alcohol in fan zones and other specific areas at the tournament.

“I have asked for all necessary measures to be taken to prohibit the sale, consumption and transport of alcoholic drinks in sensitive areas on match days and the day before, and on days when fan zones are open,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

“The events that took place in Marseille Saturday evening are unacceptable. Unacceptable for the authorities, unacceptable for society, unacceptable for football lovers,” Cazeneuve added.

Security is to be tightened at the 10 stadiums hosting games, and the British government has offered to send more of its police to France ahead of England’s next match against Wales Thursday in Lens.




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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

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