A top soccer officials in Russia has applauded the ugly scenes at EURO 2016, largely caused by over 150 “well trained” hooligans from Russia.
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Leading Moscow soccer official Igor Lebedev took to Twitter to defend the hooligans and insisted they had defended their country’s honor.
“I don’t see anything wrong with the fans fighting. Quite the opposite, well done lads, keep it up!”
Lebedev is a member of the executive committee of the Russian Football Union and is the deputy chairman of the Russian parliament as a member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic party.
“I don’t understand those politicians and officials who are criticizing our fans. We should defend them, and then we can sort it out when they come home,” Lebedev continued. “What happened in Marseille and in other French towns is not the fault of fans, but about the inability of police to organize this kind of event properly.”
He was also quoted by Russian website life.ru as saying: “In nine out of 10 cases, football fans go to games to fight, and that’s normal. The lads defended the honor of their country and did not let English fans desecrate our motherland.”
All of this comes after a Marseille prosecutor stated that 150 Russian hooligans were the main root of the problems in the French port city in the days leading up to, during and after England’s 1-1 draw with Russia in Group B play.
UEFA has already open proceedings against the Russian Football Union after Russian fans threw flares and fireworks into sections containing England fans.
At the final whistle Russian supporters could also be seen rampaging over near non-existent segregation between the two groups of fans and attacking England supporters at the Stade Velodrome.
UEFA has warned both Russia and England that if there’s any more fan trouble in and around their games then both nations face disqualification from EURO 2016, while the French government have issued an alcohol ban around the stadiums as trouble also flared up between fans of Germany and Ukraine in Lille on Sunday.
On Monday England’s manager Roy Hodgson and captain Wayne Rooney called for calm and for England’s supporters to refrain from further violence.
You can watch what Hodgson and Rooney had to say in the video below.