Poland’s interior minister Jacek Cichocki has warned that Tuesday’s Poland-Russia match will be Warsaw police’s ‘greatest ever challenge’.
Warsaw’s National Stadium will host Poland versus Russia and Euro 2012 organisers and Polish officials are wary of fan trouble throughout the city.
Poland and Russia have a very tense political history and with the game falling on Russia Day, a Russian national holiday, the visiting fans are planning a march through Warsaw before the game.
“We do not interpret the march as a major problem,” Euro 2012 tournament director Adam Olkowicz said.
“We need to be prepared.
“We have had a meeting with our security forces and we are making arrangements to try to avert trouble.
“Several thousand Russian football fans will march from the right to the left side of the river Vistula.
“It will be an organised group, but it’s not an official group and really it is outside the role of football.”
While the march has been accepted by authorities, Cichocki has voiced his concerns, saying Tuesday’s security operation will be the ‘greatest ever
challenge for law and order forces in the capital’.
Grzegorz Lato, the president of the Polish Football Association, has tried to downplay the political edge to the game.
“We are not interested in the atmosphere that some in the media are trying to create,” Lato said.
“It is simply a sports spectacle and that’s what it should remain.
“I’m convinced that the police and the security forces will be able to handle things for tomorrow’s match.”
Russia coach Dick Advocaat agreed.
“We concentrate on the game and not outside things,” Advocaat said.
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