England place in Euro secure despite clashes, 3 Russian fans face trial

  • AP, Lens, France
  • Updated: Jun 16, 2016 15:00 IST
French police watch England fans outside a bar in downtown Lille. (AP Photo)

Uefa says England’s participation in the European Championship is under no immediate threat despite a fresh outbreak of fan violence.

Uefa’s leadership said after disorder in Marseille last week that England — along with Russia — faced potential disqualification if there was more violence away from stadiums.

In Lille on Wednesday, French police used tear gas to disperse rampaging England fans. It was the fourth time England fans have been involved in violent incidents since the start of the tournament.

Uefa says it “regrets the skirmishes which occurred in Lille last night. Police forces made several arrests and were quick to restore order and keep the situation under control”.

But there are no plans for an emergency meeting of Uefa’s executive committee to discuss any further warning or sanctions.

Three Russian fans face trial

Three of the 43 Russian supporters detained in France over the violence around the England-Russia Euro 2016 match will be tried Thursday, prosecutors told AFP.

Another 20 of the group will be expelled from France although they will face no charges, while 20 will be released, the officials said.

Far-right figure Alexander Shprygin, who heads a Russian football supporters’ association, is among the 20 fans who will be thrown out of the country, sources in France and Russia said.

The three Russians will be tried on the same violence charges as the 10 British, French and Austrian nationals sentenced to prison terms of up to a year on Monday, prosecutor Brice Robin said.

One Frenchman will also face trial on the same charge.

But the Russians will also face charges over a new offence of “knowingly participating in a group” with a view to carrying out “deliberate violence against persons”, the prosecutor said.

That offence carries a one-year prison sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros ($16,900).

The arrest of the Russians turned into a diplomatic incident on Wednesday when Russia summoned France’s ambassador in protest.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov described the arrests as “absolutely unacceptable”.

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