Russian striker to fans: Keep fighting, just not inside the stadium

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Fyodor Smolov’s most recent comments won’t sit too well with the folks at UEFA.

When asked about the ongoing fan violence at EURO 2016, the Russian striker did not condemn the actions of supporters, but rather advised they keep their fighting to the streets.

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Speaking ahead of Russia’s final group match against Wales, Smolov claimed Russian supporters have been provoked by the English and Welsh fans while suggesting they try to keep the violence outside of the stadiums.

I’d like the supporters to go on backing us.

There’s a number of videos that have been uploaded on the web and clearly the English really did provoke them, and indeed the Welsh fans.

Clearly these events mustn’t go on in football stands. But, if people really want to go out with the intention of scrapping, they should fight elsewhere. They shouldn’t do so in the stadium.

Russia was handed a suspended disqualification from the tournament after fans threw flares into the English supporters section during Russia’s opening match, while also fighting English fans inside the Stade Velodrome. UEFA can punish federations for actions that happen at matches, but not for instances that occur outside the stadiums.

While it has not only been Russian fans involved in violence around France, they have taken most of the headlines as their actions continue to receive support from Russian officials.