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Euro 2016: England face explusion threat by Uefa over fan violence

By Ian Herbert

Published 13/06/2016

An man injured in clashes is assisted by the emergency services in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
An man injured in clashes is assisted by the emergency services in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A fan runs with a flare ahead of the England vs Russia France Euro 2016 match, in Marseille, France.
A man is arrested by police officers in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
An man injured in clashes is assisted by police officers in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
Russian fans chant in the Old Port Square in Marseille, France ahead of the England vs Russia France Euro 2016 match.
Police fire water cannons to control the fighting after football fans clashed ahead of the England vs Russia France Euro 2016 match.
The scene at Old Port in Marseille, France after football fans clashed ahead of the England vs Russia France Euro 2016 match.
French riot police move in to arrest Russian fans after violence broke out between supporters ahead of the England vs Russia France Euro 2016 match, in Marseille, France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 11, 2016. See PA story SPORT Euro2016. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The scene of destruction after football fans clashed ahead of the England vs Russia France Euro 2016 match, in Marseille, France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 11, 2016. See PA story SPORT Euro2016. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Teargas is fired at England supporters in downtown Marseille, France, Saturiday, June 11, 2016. Two nights of clashes between England supporters, French police and locals have marked the build up to Saturday's Euro 2016 soccer Championship match between England and Russia. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
An England supporter runs past tear gas through the streets in downtown Marseille, France, Saturiday, June 11, 2016. Two nights of clashes between England supporters, French police and locals have marked the build up to Saturday's Euro 2016 soccer Championship match between England and Russia. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
A man is taken away by emergency service workers after he was injured in clashes in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
A man is arrested by police officers in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
French riot police officers move along an England supporter in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A man is taken away by emergency service workers after he was injured in clashes in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
An man injured in clashes is assisted by the emergency services in downtown Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Riot police have thrown tear gas canisters at soccer fans Saturday in Marseille's Old Port in a third straight day of violence in the city. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
An English supporter injured after a street brawl is helped by a rescue squad ahead of the Euro 2016 football match England vs Russia, southern France, on June 11, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENETJEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images
An English supporter injured after a street brawl is helped by a rescue squad ahead of the Euro 2016 football match England vs Russia, southern France, on June 11, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENETJEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images
An English supporter injured after a street brawl is helped by a rescue squad ahead of the Euro 2016 football match England vs Russia, southern France, on June 11, 2016.
A man lays unconscious after fights between England, Russian and French groups in Marseille, on June 11, 2016, on the sideline of the Euro 2016 European football championships. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
England fans gather in Marseille , on June 11, 2016, on the sideline of the Euro 2016 European football championships. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
A police officer throws a George Flag back to an England fan during fights between England, Russian and French groups in Marseille, on June 11, 2016, on the sideline of the Euro 2016 European football championships. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Rubbish lines the streets as England fans gather, cheer and clash with police ahead of the game against Russia later today on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 11: England fans gather and cheer ahead of the game against Russia later today on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 11: <> on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 11: England fans gather and cheer ahead of the game against Russia later today on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 11: A man sits on a street sign and cheers with England fans during as England fans gather and cheer ahead of the game against Russia later today on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Police clash with England fans ahead of the game against Russia later today on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

England have been warned by UEFA that they risk elimination from the Euro 2016 championships, along with Russia, if their supporters are involved in a repeat of the violence which left 19 Britons hospitalised in Marseille on Saturday.

Though England supporters were set upon before the Euro 2016 game by a gang of 300 Russians armed with weapons, European football’s governing body has directed its threat at the Football Association, as well as the Russian Football Union.

In a statement that may surprise the FA and fans of Roy Hodgson’s team, the UEFA executive committee’s expression of “disgust” at the clashes was accompanied by a description of the “so-called supporters of the national teams of England and Russia”.

England and the Football Association are powerless to directly influence the behaviour of fans, though some kind of appeal for calm is now expected from the English camp.

Thugs wearing black T-shirts carried bags containing equipment for an organised assault when they arrived in Marseille on Saturday afternoon. They seized upon the chaos already being caused by rival French fans to launch indiscriminate attacks on English supporters.

England fans ran for their lives but the Russians outnumbered them. British police, who have no jurisdiction on French soil and can only attempt to moderate the way fans behave to assist the French, were caught up in the violence. British officers also provided bandages and medical equipment to supporters.

The Russians seemed to have been organised around individual clubs. Their black T-shirts carried the names of the Lokomotiv Moscow and CSKA Moscow sides.

UEFA’s initial statement yesterday had suggested it suspected Russian fans of being the architects of the extraordinary violence, and said it viewed the clashes before the game with “utter disgust”. The second sent out a message that conflicted with that.

The governing body has questions if its own to answer, including why it allowed a match which carried serious risk of violence to be staged at 9pm on a Saturday, and why there was little segregation of Russian and English fans.

But UEFA’s executive committee has warned both football associations that “irrespective of any decisions taken by the independent disciplinary bodies relating to incidents inside the stadium — it will not hesitate to impose additional sanctions on the Football Association (FA) and the Russian Football Union (RFU), including the potential disqualification of their respective teams from the tournament, should such violence occur again”.

It added: “We urge both the FA and the RFU to appeal to their supporters to behave in a responsible and respectful manner.”

Meanwhile, authorities have suggested England fans travel to Lille to drink before Thursday’s game against Wales, due to an alcohol ban in nearby Lens, where the game takes place. Russia play Slovakia on Wednesday, in Lille.

Belfast Telegraph

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