Marseille mayhem: Russia fans break into English sector, violence erupts after Euro 2016 draw
Following Russia’s 1-1 draw with England, Russian fans broke into the English zone at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome, sparking a fist fight. The violence then poured onto the streets of the French city, which is witnessing a third day of chaotic clashes.
Russia equalized less than two minutes before the final whistle, at which point a group of Russian supporters overpowered the stewards separating the two sets of fans.
Video from the stadium shows English spectators scattering from their sector, as they are being chased by groups of Russians.
England fans (and many French people too) climbing fences to avoid Russian supporters pic.twitter.com/ryE9JXSwwP— Nick Eardley (@nickeardleybbc) June 11, 2016
The violence on the stands was suppressed when additional stewards intervened to separate the rival groups.
However, after the fans left the venue and poured into streets, sporadic clashes continued throughout the city. Hooligans were burning flares and throwing chairs and bottles as they raged in the streets of Marseille.
The number of people injured in Marseille clashes over the past three days has risen to 35, according to French daily La Provence. Most of them suffered minor injuries and have been discharged from hospitals, but at least four people remain in a “critical” condition.
The head of the Russian football fans’ union told TASS that no mass clashes between the Russian and English fans in the stands had taken place.
“In fact, there was no clash,” said Aleksandr Shprigin. “The entire English sector… just got up and ran away. There were no scuffles, police were standing there. Everything is ok. The police are working well.”
The Russian Football Union will identify and punish the Russian fans who behaved inappropriately during the match, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told R-Sport. Mutko blamed improper organization and “weak” security measures at the match for the brief scuffles, which he said are being exaggerated.
“There was no clash… that’s being exaggerated, in fact everything is fine here. When the match ended, there was no barrier between the fans. The British were upset, of course, but it all quickly dissolved,” the minister said. “Such matches should be organized properly. It is necessary to separate the fans [at the stadium]. The bad thing is that there were firecrackers and flares. There were no nets. One must understand these things.”
The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) will review the conduct of Russian fans at the stadium on Sunday, an association representative told TASS.
Earlier the same day police used tear gas and water cannons to separate the Russians, English and combative locals as they brawled in the Old Port, the historic center of Marseille.