Russia handed suspended Euro 2016 disqualification and lash out at England

• Further unrest could see side thrown out; coach slams ‘unethical’ England fans
• Russia’s striker Artem Dzyuba: ‘In every conflict there are two parts’

Russia will be disqualified from Euro 2016 if there is a repeat of the crowd trouble seen at the Stade Vélodrome that marred their opening match with England in Marseille, Uefa has ruled. However the Russian striker Artem Dzyuba immediately responded that the English fans were no angels and equally to blame.

Dzyuba also criticised the British media for its coverage of the incidents in Marseille, claiming it was politically motivated and aimed at stripping Russia of its hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup.

Russia’s coach, Leonid Slutsky, also criticised the “unethical” behaviour of England fans and said it was unfair to only blame the Russians. He said: “We do not know what happened on the streets, of course, but when the Russian national anthem was played and all the people were shouting, the English supporters, this was something not ethical at all. And all the gestures we received when we were on our bus on the way to the stadium from all these English supporters.

“Let’s just say that supporters from all over the world are more or less the same. There are some people who come to the stadium in order to watch the game and to support their team. And there are some people who come to do some bad things and try to behave as bad as possible.”

Uefa’s disciplinary committee, which rules on incidents inside the stadium, handed Russia a €150,000 fine and a suspended disqualification. It said any further incidents of violence inside a stadium would lead to the suspension being lifted and instant disqualification.

Russia’s coach Leonid Slutsky during a training session on Monday.
Russia’s coach Leonid Slutsky during a training session on Monday. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA

Slutsky said he was sure that Russia’s supporters, who charged towards their English counterparts at the end of the match on Saturday, would behave for the remainder of the tournament.

He said: “They were supporting us very well during the England game and I hope they will continue to do so during the group phase and other games. We do need your support, but we would like to insist on the fact that we have to focus on the support of our team and to do it in a legal framework.”

The FA was not charged for events inside the stadium but Uefa registered its “disgust” with the scenes in the days running up to the match, when England fans were involved in incidents with locals and police in the old port area, saying it could also impose sanctions if there is a repeat.

Before the match, around 150 heavily organised Russian ultras charged at England fans, leaving several seriously injured and one in a critical condition.

Euro 2016: opening weekend violence between England and Russia fans.

The Guardian revealed on Monday that Alexander Shprygin, a notorious far-right head of the Russian supporter’s group, was travelling with the official delegation.

Dzyuba, a Zenit St Petersburg striker, said: “I don’t really understand this kind of reaction of the British media who have this impression that English supporters are like angels who came to this country and they’re just behaving themselves. You have to be objective and it’s 50-50. In every conflict, there are two parts. Everyone has to follow and to see and to communicate with supporters and with fans. Don’t say that only Russians are at fault.”

The forward also suggested that the French police had misrepresented the events and claimed the British media agenda was aimed at stripping Russia of the 2018 World Cup, a line of argument that has previously been pursued by sports minister Vitaly Mutko.

“I cannot affirm it but it is possible, it’s probable,” said Dzyuba when asked to clarify his claim that the coverage had a political agenda. “We can see the things the British media are talking about, talking about the World Cup 2018 and they’re saying that they have to take it away from Russia. I have just these thoughts which come up to my mind sometimes.”

Russia’s Artyom Dzyuba celebrates scoring in the match against England in Marseille.
Russia’s Artyom Dzyuba celebrates scoring in the match against England in Marseille. Photograph: Alexander Demianchuk/TASS

He added: “We are talking about things which are not really football. We are not at a street fighting championship over here, we are talking about the Euro 2016 football championship.”

Russian fans have now begun gathering in Lille before their match against Slovakia on Wednesday.

England fans have also been advised to head for the French city if they don’t have a ticket for their match with Wales in Lens on Thursday, raising fears of further violence.

The FA chairman, Greg Dyke, has written to Uefa asking for the safety of England fans to be guaranteed and complaining at its portrayal of events inside the stadium in a letter sent this week.

The Uefa charges against the Russian Football Union related to “crowd disturbances, use of fireworks and racist behaviour” around the 1-1 draw with England at the Stade Vélodrome on Saturday.

Mutko said he thought the punishment was unfair, but that the country would not appeal, RIA Novosti reported. He said: “The fine is enormous as the Russian Football Union is a non-commercial organisation. What does this have to do with the team? It is not guilty of anything.”

Prior to Uefa’s announcement, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said: “Violations of the law have been committed by fans from various nations who have gone on rampages in Marseille and some other places. It’s absolutely unacceptable, and we certainly expect our citizens to respect the country’s laws. Regrettably, fans from various nations have taken part in those rampages, regrettably including Russia.”

Following the violent scenes in Marseille, England were also warned by Uefa that they could be thrown out of the tournament, and the midfielder Adam Lallana said such an exit would be “devastating”.

He said: “Our message is for everyone to be safe and sensible. By all means enjoy the match, but be respectful that we are out there. I’ve got friends and family coming to the game – it’s a big game and I’ve got to focus on my job and hopefully everyone can do their job off the field.”

Earlier on Tuesday, French authorities began the process of deporting Russian fans from the country, having identified 29 people who were involved in the clashes in France. Police stopped a bus in the town of Mandelieu near Cannes, who were on their way to Lille.

If Russia were to be disqualified from the tournament, an emergency panel would convene to decide what would happen to the team’s results in the tournament.

Article 27 of Uefa’s Euro 2016 regulations states: “If an association is disqualified during the competition, the results of all of its matches are declared null and void, and the points awarded forfeited.”

While that would cover matters within Group B, there is no specific guidance in the regulations as to what would happen regarding the qualification process for the four best third-placed teams, whereby teams are assessed on the basis of the points they have accrued.


Owen Gibson in Lille

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Euro 2016: FA’s Greg Dyke lambasts Uefa failings in Marseille and fears violence in Lille
The FA chairman, Greg Dyke, has criticised Uefa for the ‘unacceptable’ level of segregation at the England-Russia game and has taken issue with its account of the violence

Daniel Taylor in Chantilly

14, Jun, 2016 @7:20 AM

Article image
Clashes of England and Russia fans in Marseille exposes failure of planning | Barney Ronay
The violence was committed by a small, toxic minority of English and Russian fans, but the authorities in Marseille failed miserably with everything from the scheduling to the policing

Barney Ronay in Marseille

12, Jun, 2016 @10:09 PM

Article image
Euro 2016: Russia rolls back support of violence as deportation process begins
Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, has said statements from colleagues supporting the actions of Russia fans ‘don’t reflect the official point of view in any way’

Shaun Walker in Moscow

14, Jun, 2016 @9:02 AM

Article image
Russian arrested over Euro 2016 attack that left England fan in coma
German police hold 31-year-old suspect after Portsmouth supporter suffered life-changing injuries before Marseille match

Martha Kelner

22, Feb, 2018 @8:50 PM

Article image
Lille braces itself for Euro 2016 invasion of British supporters
Lille will welcome fans from England, Wales – and Russia – this week and the mood is one of calm rather than preparing for a Euro 2016 storm

Dominic Fifield in Lille

13, Jun, 2016 @9:30 PM

Article image
England v Russia violence: who is going to discipline Uefa? | Owen Gibson
Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Russia but the governing body needs to account for its Euro 2016 scheduling

Owen Gibson in Paris

13, Jun, 2016 @9:06 AM

Article image
Russia and England fans converge with Lille fearing ‘dark day’ at Euro 2016
Emergency measures designed to quell potential violence between Russia and England fans were announced on Tuesday amid fears of a ‘dark day’ for Lille

Owen Gibson in Lille

15, Jun, 2016 @7:45 AM

Article image
Euro 2016, Russia, the World Cup, football politics and conflicting interests
As Uefa rules on Russia’s role in the Marseille violence, it should be remembered Ángel María Villar Llona, interim head of Uefa, is also the Fifa head of Russia 2018

Barney Ronay in Paris

14, Jun, 2016 @5:03 PM

Article image
Raheem Sterling could start for England in Euro 2016 opener with Russia
Roy Hodgson is looking to exploit the lack of pace in the Russia defence, meaning Raheem Sterling could start for England in Euro 2016 opener with Russia in Marseille on Saturday

Dominic Fifield in Chantilly

09, Jun, 2016 @9:34 PM

Article image
England find Marseille ready to party – right outside Euro 2016 hotel
England’s footballers are facing the prospect of a sleepless night before their opening Euro 2016 game against Russia after being given a hotel directly opposite Marseille’s fan zone – and a beach party that will go on until the early hours

Daniel Taylor in Chantilly

09, Jun, 2016 @9:30 PM