Russia football federation calls for respect from its fans after UEFA charge
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/06/2012 (3936 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WARSAW, Poland – Russia’s football federation called on its fans Sunday to behave themselves after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings into reports of violence by supporters at the team’s first Euro 2012 match.
Video emerged Saturday of Russia fans fighting with stadium stewards in Wroclaw and UEFA also says it is investigating reports by anti-racism experts of abuse directed at Czech players during Russia’s 4-1 victory.
In a statement posted on its website, the Football Union of Russia called on its large contingent of travelling fans to “Respect yourself, your home and your team.”
The statement praised the majority of its fans for their boisterous support of the team but said political statements “have no place in the stands” and told supporters to co-operate fully with match organizers.
The incidents flared before Russia takes on Poland in a highly-charged Group A match in Warsaw on Tuesday — a Russian national holiday when fans plan to march from the city centre to the stadium.
Anti-racist experts appointed by UEFA to monitor matches reported Saturday that fans verbally abused Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie, who is black.
UEFA’s disciplinary panel will review the case against Russia — using “security reports and available images” — on Wednesday.
The alleged improper conduct relates to “crowd disturbances, the setting off and throwing of fireworks and the display of illicit banners,” UEFA said.
Four stewards at the stadium were hospitalized and later discharged after being attacked by Russia fans, city police said.
Online footage showed fans punching the security staff in a stadium concourse area. One steward was punched to the ground and then kicked before the fans walked away.
Police and a witness who took video footage said the Russia fans became aggressive when stewards tried to capture a man who had thrown firecrackers toward the pitch.
Monitors from the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) fans’ network reported to UEFA that Russia fans also displayed a nationalist “Russian Empire” flag.
The symbol was one “we take as evidence of far-right sensibilities,” FARE executive director Piara Powar told The Associated Press.
Associated Press writer Karel Janicek in Wroclaw contributed to this story.