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UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Russia

UEFA has confirmed disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Russian Football Federation (RFU) following the crowd trouble that marred Saturday’s Euro 2016 game against England.

Flares and fireworks were set off from the section housing the Russian supporters late in the second half before the situation became even uglier following Vasili Berezutski’s injury-time equaliser in the 1-1 draw.

At the final whistle hundreds of Russian fans broke through a feeble security cordon to attack their England counterparts who made a hasty retreat towards the exits.

Having received a full report into the incidents, UEFA on Sunday confirmed charges had been brought against the RFU for crowd disturbances, racist behaviour and the setting off of fireworks.

The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will decide Russia’s fate on Tuesday and it could have serious repercussions for Leonid Slutsky’s side.

Russia were handed a six-point penalty, suspended for the duration of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, following incidents during the game against the Czech Republic at Euro 2012.

That suspended period has now expired but UEFA is sure to take a dim view of Saturday’s incidents that were beamed around the world.

The violence at the Stade Velodrome was a continuation of the carnage that had seen Marseille turned into a battle zone for much of Saturday and the two days preceding it as Russian, English and French supporters waged a running battle through the streets of the city’s Old Port area.

UEFA condemned the incidents in a statement but also confirmed it could “only take disciplinary action for incidents which happen within the stadium perimeter”.

That means England are likely to escape sanctions.

One security guard working at the Velodrome told French radio of his helplessness as the Russian fans began their charge.

Speaking to RMC, the unnamed 22-year-old said: “I do not understand why we mixed Russian and English fans in the southern section. We had security guards with a rope to keep the two groups apart.

“It went well throughout the match but we knew it was going to blow up at the end because there had been skirmishes. We were not trained to cope with hooligans.

“We did not have the means. We had just our arms and a rope. The hooligans were ready to do battle.

“We were worried. I saw children being trampled.

“I do not understand why England came to play in Marseille, the game could have been put elsewhere.”

Sun 12 Jun, 2016
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