UEFA Bashes Russia for Euro 2016 Hooliganism
by Stephen Lendman
Hooliganism involving disorderly crowd behavior and violence all too commonly accompanies European football matches – rowdy groups, gangs or individuals responsible, not nations.
Following Saturday’s Russia/England match, Russian fans broke into Marseille, France’s Stade Velodrome’s English zone. Violence followed, including on city streets for three straight days.
Dozens were injured, at least four seriously. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Russian fans improperly behaving will be punished appropriately.
He blamed poor organization and “weak” security measures for letting things get out-of-control. “When the match ended, there was no barrier between (Russian and English) fans,” he explained.
After the incident, the Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) said conduct of Russian fans would be reviewed.
On Sunday, it opened disciplinary proceedings against Russia, irresponsibly charging it with crowd disturbances and racist behavior.
Once the Russia Football Union responds, sanctions will be decided. In a statement, UEFA “expresse(d) utter disgust for the violent clashes that occurred in the city centre of Marseille, and its serious concern for the incidents at the end of the match inside Stade Velodrome.”
“This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and has no place in football. UEFA acknowledges that there were segregation issues at Stade Velodrome and will implement corrective measures to strengthen the deployment of security personnel at stadiums, in close collaboration with local authorities.”
UEFA went further, threatening possible disqualification from further Euro 2016 competition – the latest example of Russia bashing.
A statement said its Executive Committee warned English and Russian football associations with possible disciplinary action, including sanctions and “potential disqualification.”
Expect Russia alone to be unjustly treated, continuing longstanding US-led Western policy to marginalize, weaken, contain and isolate Moscow – solely for its sovereign independence, free from imperial control.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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