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England's Euro Plea and Russian Havoc

French authorities have said that the most serious fighting that broke out ahead of England’s match against Russia at the weekend was, in the main, caused by up to 150 Russians intent on creating havoc.  The Russians have been quoted by authorities as being “extremely well trained,” and, “prepared for ultra-violent action.”

Today, both the English Manager, Roy Hodgson, and Captain, Wayne Rooney, have made an appeal to the English fans for them to stay away from the troubles.

Rooney asked fans not to travel without tickets and to stay safe and sensible given the volatile situation. 

Hodgson said that he appreciated the travelling support but to stay out of trouble as the English team had worked hard to get a place in the tournament and wanted to stay in it.

Both teams face a possible expulsion from the competition if there is any further violence between fans. 

Three days of repeated clashes between the two sets of fans took place in Marseille prior to the 1-1 draw between the two countries on Saturday evening. 

Soon after the Russian goal was scored in extra time completing the match as a draw, some of the Russian fans were seen chasing down English fans in the stadium following the ignition of flares.  Fighting carried on outside the stadium and a number of arrests on both sides took place.

UEFA has commenced disciplinary proceedings against the Russian Football Federation but not yet the English Football Association.  Any sanctions to be imposed against Russia will be decided tomorrow by UEFA.

An alcohol ban will be introduced in key sensitive areas close to the football stadiums to try to reduce the likelihood for further clashes. 

In the main both Russian and English associations have condemned the violence and appealed for calm, however, one Russian MP, Igor Lebedev, has been highly critised for  saying there was "nothing wrong with football fans fighting”, and to, “keep up the good work."

His attitude has obviously caused some concerns, especially since Russia are in line to host the next FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Russia play Slovakia next on Wednesday in Lille and England meets Wales in Lens on Thursday. 

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