England and Russia have been threatened with expulsion from Euro 2016 after the disgraceful scenes in Marseille.
Three days of violence in the Mediterranean port culminated with Russian supporters attacking England fans inside the Stade Velodrome at the end of a 1-1 draw in the Group B game.
Russia appeared to bear the brunt of the blame in the first Uefa statement issued yesterday, with European football’s governing body launching disciplinary proceedings for crowd disturbances, racist behaviour and setting off fireworks. Sportsmail can reveal that England’s black players were racially abused, and disabled supporters were also victims of the Russian hooligan gang.
But last night, Uefa’s executive committee issued a stern warning that levelled accusations at both countries and said a repeat of the violence in Marseille could lead to the disqualification of both nations, the kind of threat the
FA last received after clashes between English and German fans in Charleroi at Euro 2000. They urged the FA and the Russian Football Union to tell their respective supporters to ‘behave in a responsible and respectful manner’.
The statement expressed the ‘disgust’ of Uefa bosses for the violent clashes in Marseille.
‘Such unacceptable behaviour by so-called supporters of the national teams of England and Russia has no place in football, a sport we must protect and defend,’ it said. ‘The Uefa executive committee has warned both football associations that — irrespective of any decisions taken by the independent disciplinary bodies relating to incidents inside the stadium — it will not hesitate to impose additional sanctions on the FA and the Russian Football Union, including potential disqualification of their respective teams from the tournament, should such violence occur again.’
With incidents also occurring in Nice on Saturday night ahead of Northern Ireland’s encounter with Poland, the French government has implemented an alcohol ban near all Euro 2016 venues for the rest of the tournament.
But there remains concern that trouble could be repeated in Lille on Wednesday. Russia play Slovakia there, but it is also the city where England fans without tickets for Thursday’s game against Wales in Lens had been advised prior to the tournament to stay by the national police chiefs council because their fan park is twice as big. It can hold up to 25,000 supporters, and it is estimated that as many as 100 000 Welsh and English fans — most without tickets — will be in the area.
The FA received a letter from Uefa containing the expulsion warning and last night chief executive Martin Glenn responded in a statement.
‘We take this letter from Uefa with the utmost seriousness,’ he said. ‘Every effort needs to be made by The FA to positively urge fans to act in a responsible and respectful way. Violent scenes like those witnessed in Marseille have no place in football, nor society as a whole.’
However, the Football Supporters Federation chief executive Kevin Miles, who saw events unfold in Marseille, said: ‘I’ve been incredibly disappointed by the French police so far. Their response is to fire tear gas towards the incident and that tactic makes no discrimination between the victims of an attack and those responsible for it.’
It has emerged that a 16-year-old England fan was among the 15 arrests made in Marseille over three days.
– Daily Mail