UEFA hands EURO 2016 “suspended disqualification” to Russia

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Russia will be disqualified from EURO 2016 should their fans be involved in any more trouble in stadiums at the tournament in France.

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UEFA handed them a suspended disqualification and a fine of $168,000 for crowd disorder during the game against England at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

There were also charges for fan racism and lighting fireworks at the stadium. The suspended disqualification and fine relate only to incidents which occurred inside the stadium and if any more trouble occurs inside the stadium they will be automatically disqualified.

However, UEFA has warned both England and Russia that any more trouble from their fans in the streets outside games will also lead to disqualification from the European Championships.

Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday ahead of their game against Slovakia on Wednesday in Lille, Russian striker Artem Dzyuba was defiant as he was asked about the trouble in Marseille.

“We have this impression that English supporters are like angels… You have to be objective. It’s 50-50,” Dzuyba said.

Russia’s head coach Leonid Slutsky appealed to Russian fans for no more trouble.

“We do need your support but we would like to insist on the fact that you should do it in a legal framework.”

Dzuyba went on to insinuate that their was a political agenda against Russia and its hosting of the 2018 World Cup and Slutsky took offence to England fans booing the Russian national anthem.

On Monday Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin stated that 150 “well trained” Russian hooligans were the main cause of days of violence in the Fench port city ahead of England’s clash with Russia. 35 fans were left injured, four seriously, and 20 arrests were made in Marseille as groups of Russian fans have been deported after the trouble.

A leading soccer official in Russia also sent the following message to the Russian hooligans: “well done lads, keep it up!”

There is concern that trouble will flare up in the next few days as England play bitter rivals Wales in the neighboring city of Lens, just 22 miles from Lille, where Russia’s game on Wednesday takes place. Extra police have been drafted in from the UK to try and avoid outbreaks like the ones seen in Marseille for three-straight days before, during and after England’s 1-1 draw with Russia.

This is not the first time Russia has been involved in fan unrest at the European Championships. Four years ago their fans were sanctioned on three separate occasions for throwing and setting off fireworks, illicit banner and a pitch invasion.

For those actions at EURO 2012 they were handed a six-point deduction which was suspended for three-and-a-half-years. That ran out at the end of EURO 2016 qualifying.

Now, the stakes are much higher as Russia is on its final warning from UEFA.