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184 fans detained after Russia-Poland match in Warsaw

June 13, 2012, 14:52 UTC+3

The overwhelming majority of those detained are Poles (156), and 24 are Russian citizens

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WARSAW, June 13 (Itar-Tass) — A total of 184 soccer fans have been detained after clashes provoked by hooligans on Tuesday prior to a game between the Russian and Polish soccer teams (at the World Football Championship), Polish Interior Minister Jacek Cichocki told a press conference on Wednesday.

A total of 184 have been detained; the overwhelming majority of those detained are Poles (156), and 24 are Russian citizens, he said. Court proceedings against the Russian citizens will be held in an accelerated regime so that as the court could pass its resolution by Friday which will annul their visas and impose a ban on entry into the territory of the Schengen zone, the Interior minister said. The court will be strict to the Poles as well. Police have been studying videos from video cameras to identify other participants in the clashes, the Interior minister said. A Russian citizen was detained at the stadium suspected of throwing a petard on the soccer field, the minister said.

The clashes provoked by the hooligans began in Warsaw prior to the game when Russian soccer fans were going in an organized group to the National stadium surrounded by law enforces who cordoned them from the Polish fans. But the hooligans who disguised their faces attempted to attack the organized group with the aim to provoke clashes. For security reasons the Russian fans were separated from the Polish fans and were let into the stadium from different entrances. Police quickly cut short attempts to unleash fist fighting, using rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas.

During the game the hooligans attempted to break into the Warsaw fan zone, where dozens of thousands of people were watching the game. The hooligans hurled stones and bottles at policemen and fired petards.

After the game was over the Russian fans were asked to remain at the stadium for 15-20 minutes and then were let out of the stadium, accompanied by police. In the meantime, clashes in the city were going on. The hooligans' aggression was rather not targeted against the fans from Russia, but they clashed with policemen who attempted to regulate the crowd as it moved on and cut short fighting.

Onlookers said that a large group of aggressive young men who were armed with broken bottles gathered at Bristol hotel where the Russian national team is staying. The hotel building was surrounded by metal fences. 

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