European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, launched disciplinary proceedings against the Russian Football Union Sunday after violence marred the end of Russia’s Euro 2016 match against England in Marseille on Saturday evening.
Moments after the final whistle in the Stade Velodrome, masked Russian supporters charged at England fans, punching and kicking them. Some England fans had to scramble over barriers to escape.
UEFA said it will also investigate allegations of racist behavior, the throwing of missiles and fireworks.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who had initially denied that there had been any crowd disturbance, said that UEFA was right to investigate.
The violence in the stadium followed three days of ugly skirmishes among English, Russian and French fans in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille, drawing a strong response from riot police.
A statement from UEFA said the body was “disgusted” by the clashes that occurred in the Marseille city center and expressed its serious concern over the incidents inside Stade Velodrome.
“This kind of behavior is totally unacceptable and has no place in football,” UEFA said, adding that a decision on sanctions would be made within days.
It is the second time in as many European Championship tournaments that the Russian federation has faced sanctions because of its fans. It was fined and given a suspended 6-point deduction for its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign after fans assaulted stadium security staff and displayed illicit banners at the 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
Sanctions can include fines, being forced to play matches behind closed doors and even disqualification.
Fan violence spread to a second French city, Nice, where Northern Irish and local fans hurled glass bottles and chairs at each other late Saturday.
The French government rallied behind the police amid questions over tactics and security inside the stadiums.