violence

Russia wants full points from match abandoned after Akinfeev struck in head by flare (video)

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Russia wants all three points from Montenegro after their Euro 2016 Group G qualifier was abandoned Friday.

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was one of two Russian players to be hit by fan-thrown objects, struck in the head by a fan-thrown flare and taken to the hospital shortly after kickoff, and tempers boiled over between the two sides after the second event.

Akinfeev suffered minor burns, a neck injury and a concussion, but released a statement saying he feels fine.

[ MORE: Euro qualifier roundup ]

When Roman Shirokov missed a first-half penalty — on a light note, the misses were poor enough to deserve their own post — both sides gathered near the touch line in a contentious display, one that caused referee Deniz Aytekin to cancel the match.

And Russia wants all three points, going as far as to say the match should’ve been canceled when Akinfeev was hit.

From the Associated Press:

Russian Football Union president Nikolai Tolstykh said in a statement that his organization would file a protest to UEFA and that “in our view, it should be a technical defeat for Montenegro.”

He added that the match should have been abandoned following the attack on Akinfeev, but that UEFA match delegate Barry Bright overruled Russia’s objections.

“The Russian national team was forced to continue the game, but I want to emphasize that we warned the delegate and UEFA that we would submit a protest,” Tolstykh said.

Here’s the scary-looking flare incident:

And the penalty miss and subsequent altercation(s):

Considering the repercussions after a brawl between Serbia and Albania in Group I earlier this year, precedent says Russia could see a win but be docked points for its role in the fighting. After Serbian players ripped down a drone-flown pro-Albanian flag, players clashed on the pitch and saw the match abandoned and fan fighting in the stands.

Given UEFA president Michel Platini’s concerned words and warning about fan violence just this week, could he do something even more harsh?

Russia is third in the group with five points, ahead of Montenegro on goal differential. A win would put the Russians three points back of No. 2 Sweden. Austria leads the group with 13 points.

Worried by rise of hooliganism, unopposed Platini reelected as UEFA president

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Incumbent Michel Platini won a third-straight term as UEFA president, and will continue to helm European soccer’s governing body.

The well-decorated French midfielder, 59, took over after the 16-year reign of Lennart Johansson ended in 2007.

[ MORE: FA wants more English players in PL ]

In his opening speech to UEFA members, Platini issued a plea for help from European police to help curb stadium violence, extremism and hooliganism in soccer.

From the BBC:

He reiterated calls for a European sports police force to avoid events witnessed in the “not-so-distant past”.

“A past where hooligans and all manner of fanatics called the shots in certain European stadiums,” he added.

Platini was a player with Juventus when crowd trouble prior to the 1985 European Cup final against Liverpool at Heysel Stadium led to the deaths of 39 people.

Violence in the stands and outside the stadia have caused disruption of matches and even the suspension of league play in Greece. The problems have not been limited to club play, as Euro qualifying has seen international matches marred in Belgrade amongst other spots.

How to alleviate Platini’s concerns is a much more complicated process, as the Frenchman admitted it was one of his concerns upon election in 2007 and, on the whole, things have not improved much.

Report: Man stabbed, another injured, following Roma’s 5-1 win over CSKA Moscow

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Violence broke out following AS Roma’s 5-1 romp of Champions League Group E opponent CSKA Moscow, with two supporters of the Russian side rushed to the hospital, one with suspected stab wounds.

The online report comes from Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport and claims that one CSKA fan who had been stabbed in the stomach and the arm was transported to the Italian city’s Gemelli hospital. Initial reports said the man’s life was not in danger.

The other fan, also of CSKA Moscow, was reportedly taken to hospital after suffering head wounds from being hit with a bottle. Our friends at Soccerly have the story:

Violence also erupted in the later stages of the game as Roma romped to a 5-0 lead.

Television pictures showed fans of both sides taunting and throwing missiles at each other, prompting the intervention of stewards.

When the Roma fans were cordoned behind a line of stewards, fans of CSKA began attacking stadium stewards, many of whom had to defend themselves from punches being thrown and what appeared to be iron bars before they moved back as police with guns and batons arrived.

The match was only briefly halted and shortly after resuming CSKA claimed their only goal of the game through Ahmed Musa.

Roma coach Rudi Garcia told Canal5 after the game: “It’s not right. This is a football game and shouldn’t turn into a battle.

“We should take steps to get rid of people who are involved in this kind of behaviour. Outside the stadium, there are police to deal with this kind of problem.”

The Italian capital has witnessed several violent incidents over the years.

Earlier this year Napoli supporter Ciro Esposito died in hospital after being shot by hardline ultra fans of Roma as fans of Napoli and Fiorentina travelled to Rome for the Italian Cup final.

First-hand account of violence at Coppa Italia final

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We brought you the story of a shooting before Saturday’s Coppa Italia final, and now our friends at Soccerly have a first-hand account of what it was like inside the Stadio Olimpico as Napoli topped Fiorentina 3-1.

Soccerly’s Anthony Lopopolo was in Rome for the match, and gives a very critical review of what he witnessed. There’s plenty of hubbub regarding rumors in Napoli in recent weeks, and the club has hit back. But on a violent day in Italy, Lopopolo’s impressions were not favorable.

From Soccerly:

The game was delayed almost an hour after a shooting took place a few kilometres away from the stadium. There were various skirmishes between rival fans before the game, even outside the Eternal City and on the way to Rome, some throwing firecrackers at each other in the streets, according to the Guardian.

The police looked ready for something bad to happen.There were lines of swat teams hours before kick-off. They closed off streets around the stadium. Armoured vehicles cut off the main arteries of Stadio Olimpico. The carabinieri directed fans of Napoli and Fiorentina to either side. The two factions would not mingle.