Why Russian ultras should be excluded from Euro 2016

Author : Dmytro Martsenyshyn

Source : 112 Ukraine

UEFA conditionally disqualified Russian team from the European championship following the trouble caused by Russian fans June 11 in Marseille
10:09, 15 June 2016

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Marseille massacre

European football Championship EURO 2016 in France has not found its football heroes and losers so far, but it can be argued that the tournament might forever go down in history because of an unprecedented surge of cruelty and violence, provoked by Russian fans before the match of their team against England.

Unrests began in Marseille two days before the match between England and Russia, which was held on June 11, and continued throughout the day and after the match as well.

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The culmination was after the final whistle: at the Stade Vélodrome (Velodrome stadium), Russian hooligans attacked the English fans sectors, where women, children, and elderly people were.

The clashes injured dozens of people, four Englishmen remain in serious condition, and 51-year-old Andrew Bache reported to be in coma.

Related: Euro 2016: British fan dies after fight with Russians in Marseille

In the center of Marseille, the Russian hit England fan five times in the head with an iron bar.  French policeman, who found him unconscious on the sidewalk, saved the life of Andrew Bache by taking emergency measures, but the threats are still high.

Uninvited group

June 11, all the world's media showed the horrific footage of bloody English fans, who faced with an unprecedented aggression of the Russians. Everything that is happening resembled a one-sided beating not by accident.

After all, these were not just fights between the drunk young people. In Marseille, Russian fans conducted organized attacks against the peaceful English fans.

Related: Russian MP condemns violent actions of Russian fans at Euro 2016

It turned out that they were the Ultra supporters of Moscow CSKA and "Locomotive", as well as "Torpedo" Vladimir.

Everything indicates that the members of these fan groups arrived in France with a clear purpose - to participate in the street fights and riots.

Related: Euro 2016: British fan dies after fight with Russians in Marseille

English experience

The ultras movement is inherent to club football, at the national level, many teams simply do not have organized fans.

This also applies to England, in 1980s it choked by rampant football bullying that led to the tragedy at the stadium. It resulted into hundreds of human victims and disqualification of all English clubs from European competition for five years.

England was punished after the tragedy at the Brussels stadium "Heysel," where during the Champions Cup final between the "Liverpool" and "Juventus," the clashes provoked by English fans, 39 people died.

After that, Britain declared war against fans’ group and virtually destroyed them. All the troublemakers at the matches are immediately entered into the database, and then they do not have a chance to get to the stadiums. Of course, incidents involving England fans still occur, but now they are not widespread.

Related: Euro 2016: France deports four Russian fans

Final warning

In the case of "Marseille slaughter," UEFA and the French authorities have decided to be proactive and not wait for a tragedy, the outlines of which clearly stood out, especially considering how helpless were the police during the riots. The law enforcers could not stop them even with the help of water cannons and tear gas.

Tuesday morning, on the eve of the second Euro 2016 match of the Russian team against Slovakia, scheduled for June 15 in Lille, French police stopped a bus with 50 representatives of the "Russian Union of fans." French policemen announced their intention to deport them on suspicion of organizing the riots of Marseilles.

Related: Euro 2016: Police identify German fans attacked Ukrainian fans in Lille

And then there was also the decision of UEFA, which conditionally disqualified Russian team from participating in Euro 2016. Russian Football Union is charged with rioting involving supporters of the Russian team, the use of pyrotechnics, and racism.

This means that if such incidents involving Russian fans at the European Championships repeat, the Russian team will be disqualified from the tournament. 

Related: Euro 2016: Russia Sport Minister urged fans to fulfill demands of French authorities

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