Fan trouble puts Euro teams in the dock
UEFA says it is taking action against Germany and Portugal for the behaviour of its supporters and team, in the latest disciplinary measures in Euro 2012 after crowd trouble with Russia.
European football’s governing body said that its Control and Disciplinary Body would deal with the case on Thursday in relation to events at Saturday’s Group B match in the Ukrainian city of Lviv.
“The German Football Association (DFB) is charged with the throwing of missiles by their supporters, while the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) faces proceedings for a delayed kick-off to the second half,” a statement said.
Germany, among the favourites to challenge holders Spain for the European crown, won the match 1-0.
UEFA has already initiated proceedings against Russia after the country’s fans lit and threw fireworks and displayed potentially inflammatory “Russian Empire” flags at Friday’s Group A game with the Czech Republic in Wroclaw, Poland.
It also said it was investigating claims from a racism monitoring body that the Czech’s Theo Gebre Selassie, who is black, was subjected to monkey chants during the game, which Russia won 4-1.
A police investigation has been launched separately into an attack on four volunteer stadium stewards after the match, with police given the go-ahead to publish “Wanted” notices, complete with photographs of six Russian suspects.
Russian football chiefs vowed to do all they could to prevent a repeat of the violence and officially warned fans to be on their best behaviour, saying anyone involved had “dishonoured” the country.
“We will work with our supporters so it doesn’t happen again,” the head of the Russian football federation, Sergey Fursenko, told reporters in Warsaw.
Fursenko maintained the federation had “taken measures to make sure that these type of incidents don’t happen again. I think that everything will go well” but said it was difficult to comment on the situation as security was a matter for the hosts.
“It’s unacceptable. We need to fight it. We’ve got to put an end to violence in the stands.”
The head of the Russian football supporters association, Alexander Shprygin, however, accused the Polish stewards, who required hospital treatment afterwards, of provoking the attack.
“After the incident with the flare four local stewards came into the Russian fans’ sector and tried to detain a fan, who wasn’t guilty of any wrongdoing,” he said.
“They (the stewards) acted roughly, insulting our fans verbally. Our fans warned them once, twice... In general our fans just did not allow the stewards to detain an innocent fan. After that our fans walked away from the stadium in an organised way.”
Shprygin said he regretted the incident with the flare, which was thrown onto the pitch, adding that the fans’ association would not condone any unruly behaviour.
Wroclaw police said meanwhile that two Russia fans were each given two-year bans from football grounds in Poland for ignoring requests by security personnel during the match.
“The ban was imposed Sunday by a court in Wroclaw against a 27-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman,” police spokesman Kamil Rynkiewicz said, adding that the pair must also pay a 2,000-zloty (460-euro, $575) fine.
Four other Russia fans aged 25-26 were charged with having taken part in a restaurant brawl.
In Poznan, western Poland, where Ireland take on Croatia Sunday, police said they had detained 15 fans, including 10 Poles, four Irishmen and one Croat after an overnight free for all in the city’s historic central square.
Russia take on Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday, with fears of violence between rival supporters.