Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Russia star Smolov: If fans want to fight, they should do so outside the stadium

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Jun 2016

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Russia star Fyodor Smolov has warned fans against causing disruption inside the stadium at Monday’s Euro 2016 game with Wales in Toulouse.

Fans from Russia have made the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the tournament, playing a part in trouble in Marseille before and after their opening fixture against England and also charging towards supporters of Roy Hodgson’s side at full-time in the Stade Velodrome.

UEFA told Russia they would be disqualified if those scenes were repeated inside a stadium, and Smolov said on Sunday: “I am not really going to make any statement regarding the Russia fans. I would like the fans to keep supporting us.

“But these kinds of events cannot happen in football stands.

“If people want to go out there to fight, they should do so elsewhere, not inside the stadium.”

The disgraceful scenes in Marseille were followed by more trouble between England, Wales and Russia fans in Lille, but Smolov refused to point the finger at his own country’s supporters.

“There have been a number of videos on the internet that clearly show the English and Wales fans did provoke the Russia supporters,” he added.

Head coach Leonid Slutsky, meanwhile, was keen to move on from the fan violence and urged the Russian supporters to behave “in a civilised” way.

“Any violence and disorder is in the past now. A number of measures were taken after the match in Marseille to try to organise things in a much more civilised way,” he stressed.

“I would like the fans to continue to support us and get behind us, everything within the framework of the rules and a civilised society.

“I can’t say events have influenced our preparation or our mindset. We are focused on playing football and are trying not to be distracted by things we cannot control.”

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