UEFA warns England, Russia could be kicked out of Euro 2016

AP , Sunday 12 Jun 2016

England v Russia
Spectators run on the stands as clashes break out right after the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between England and Russia, at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Saturday, June 11, 2016 (AP)

England and Russia have been threatened with expulsion from the European Championship if there is further violence by their fans.

Expressing its ''utter disgust'' over three days of disorder in Marseille, UEFA told the English and Russian federations on Sunday ''to appeal to their supporters to behave in a responsible and respectful manner'' at the tournament in France.

Only Russia is facing immediate UEFA disciplinary proceedings after its fans attacked English rivals inside the Stade Velodrome after their first match in Group B, which ended 1-1. But English fans were at the heart of days of mayhem in Marseille's Old Port district, which also involved French and Russian fans.

The governing body said its executive committee ''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 Football Association and the Russian Football Union, including the potential disqualification of their respective teams from the tournament, should such violence occur again.''

The strong statement followed emergency UEFA meetings to discuss the clashes and security measures inside the 10 stadiums being used across France for the 24-team tournament.

''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 said.

Russia has been charged by UEFA over crowd disturbances, racist behavior by fans and the setting off of fireworks at the game. UEFA's disciplinary body will judge the case on Tuesday, imposing sanctions ahead of its second Euro 2016 game against Slovakia on Wednesday in Lille.

Although UEFA holds national federations responsible for their fans' behavior inside stadiums, it typically does not act on incidents elsewhere.

''UEFA expresses its utter disgust for the violent clashes that occurred in the city center of Marseille, and its serious concern for the incidents at the end of the match inside Stade Velodrome,'' UEFA said. ''This kind of behavior is totally unacceptable and has no place in football.''

When UEFA's disciplinary panel judges incidents in Marseille, it could take Russian fans' track record at Euro 2012 into account. UEFA imposed a series of sanctions, including fines, on the Russian Football Union for incidents at that tournament, which was hosted by Poland and Ukraine.

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