13th of June 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Clashes between rival Russian and Polish football fans in the Polish capital Warsaw have placed a big stain on the actual match between the two teams. It all started with a march ahead of the match by thousands of Russian fans. The march was supposed to mark their national day but it had to be halted and some missiles were thrown. Police say they arrested around 120 people and that 10 people were injured.
About 6,000 policemen were on duty to keep the two groups of fans apart. Some Polish fans on a bridge had tried to attack the Russian fans and had been involved in scuffles. Then we saw tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons being used to disperse fans at the end of the march. But that's not all. In a separate incident, 50 Polish fans attacked Russian fans in a Warsaw cafe. And the problems continued during the match, but not inside the stadium. Trouble broke out in an area of the city centre where the match was being displayed on big screens. Polish police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at a group of fans who attacked them with bottles.
The actual match was good though and it ended 1-1.
There are some old grudges between Poland and Russia but the young fans that resorted to violence might not know too much about history. Russia annexed most of Poland in the 19th Century and ruled it for more than 100 years. Then the Soviet Union dominated Poland during the Cold War.
Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Russia after a series of incidents involving their fans at Euro 2012. Some Russian fans were caught on camera kicking and punching stewards inside the stadium at Wroclaw, in western Poland, after their team defeated the Czech Republic 4-1 on Friday. Moreover, anti-racist monitors at the match said a section of the crowd racially abused the Czech Republic's only black player, Theodor Gebre Selassie.
Meanwhile, the Russian football association asks the fans to behave: "We urge all football fans now in Poland to remember that they represent Russia. Please respect yourselves, your country and your team."
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