Reports on the violence between Russia/England fans at the ongoing Euro 2016 games, confirm Russian fans will face tougher sanctions due to past bad behavior. The bloody attack on English supporters in neighboring stands will not go unpunished.
UEFA will open disciplinary proceedings over Saturday’s violence inside the stadium in Marseille, with Russia potentially facing tougher sanctions than England because its fans were in the front line of trouble at the last European Championship.
After a third straight day of fighting in the Mediterranean port city, violence spread to the Stade Velodrome at the Group B game.
That’s important because it means that UEFA can impose some sort of punishment if it’s so minded.
Though UEFA holds national federations and clubs responsible for their fans’ behavior inside stadiums, it typically does not act on incidents elsewhere.
“UEFA can only take disciplinary action for incidents which happen within the stadium perimeter,” the European soccer body said in a statement.
After the 1-1 draw, a large group of Russian fans in one stand behind the goal advanced on England supporters in the neighboring area, throwing objects and breaking through a line of stewards. England fans fled for the exits.
When UEFA’s disciplinary panel judges incidents at the stadium, it could take Russian fans’ track record at Euro 2012 into account.
UEFA imposed a series of sanctions, including fines, on the Russian FA for incidents at that tournament, which was jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
England is likely to be treated more leniently by UEFA as its fans have little history of disorder in recent European Championship qualifying and final tournaments.
Saturday’s game was Russia’s first to be organized by UEFA since the lifting of probationary sanctions that were threatened after violent disorder by its fans in Poland four years ago.
Four years ago, UEFA deferred a sanction of ordering Russia to play three home Euro 2016 qualifying in empty stadiums. The stadium ban would have been activated if fan violence during qualifying matches was repeated.
UEFA had initially threatened Russia with a six-point deduction in Euro 2016 qualifying but that was removed when the Russian Football Union appealed to UEFA. A fine of 120,000 euros ($150,000) was maintained though.