France has begun the process of deporting Russian fans following the violent clashes between Russian and English supporters over the weekend because authorities fear more violence during the rest of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament.
French officials have verified the identities of 29 Russian fans at a hotel in Mandelieu-La Napoule near Marseille who are suspected of playing a role in the violence, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. Local authorities have already decided to take some of them to a holding centre at the border. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls reportedly said that some supporters “will be deported because some people cannot stay on national territory.”
Meanwhile, the Union of European Football Associations, the governing body for soccer in Europe, fined the Russian soccer federation 150,000 euros (about $170,000). UEFA also said that Russia would be disqualified from the tournament if more fan violence broke out at Euro 2016, according to the Associated Press.
The Kremlin released a statement asking Russian fans at the Euro 2016 not to react to ‘provocations.’ AFP reported the Russian sports minister as saying Russia will abide by UEFA rulings on the disturbances.
The far-right head of the Russian Supporters Union Alexander Shprygin said Tuesday that French riot police had stopped a bus carrying Russian fans in Mandelieu near Cannes.
“They want to deport almost 50 people including women who did not take part in anything,” he told Reuters. “The police are making up for their mistakes three days ago. We are in a bus in Cannes and we have been blocked in by riot police. We are not going anywhere for the time being and are waiting for the consul.”
Russian fans told the BBC that the clashes at the end of Saturday's match were sparked by a barrage of abuse from English supporters. French prosecutors said Monday that “extremely well-trained” Russian supporters were “behind” most of the violence in Marseille.