Over 150 specially trained Russian hooligans have been blamed for the majority of the violence before, during and after England’s 1-1 draw with Russia in Marseille on Saturday.
[ MORE: Latest EURO 2016 news ]
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin has put the majority of the blame for the violence at the hands of “well trained” Russian fans.
Speaking in a media conference Robin confirmed that 20 people had been arrested but only two of them were Russian and both of those arrests came for pitch invasion at the Stade Velodrome.
“These people were well prepared for ultra-rapid, ultra-violent action. These are extremely well trained people,” Robin said.
Robin also blamed England fans for the violence in Marseille before the game as the buildup to the Group B opener was marred by three consecutive days of violence. He also stated that almost all of the 35 injured fans were British.
UEFA has already opened proceedings against the Russian Football Union after fans threw flares and fireworks at England’s supporters after Russia’s equalizer late in the game on Saturday. Several Russian fans could then be seen running through non-existent segregation to attack England fans as they fled towards the exits in disturbing scenes.
Both England and Russia have been threatened with potential disqualification from EURO 2016 if any further trouble takes place but violence has flared up elsewhere with supporters of Germany and Ukraine clashing in Lille before their Group C encounter on Sunday.
With so much focus on preventing acts of terrorism at EURO 2016, policing inside the stadium and among fans seems to have so far been hit and miss across France with many England fans blaming heavy-handed police tactics for starting much of the violence in Marseille.
The wife of England striker Jamie Vardy, Rebekah, spoke of her horror as police teargassed large numbers of England fans including herself outside the Velodrome.