WARSAW, June 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Football Union hopes that Polish police will take tough measures to protect the guests of Euro-2012, President of the Russian Football Union Sergei Fursenko told Itar-Tass on Wednesday, commenting on clashes provoked by hooligans on Tuesday when Russia and Poland ended the game in a draw.
“Incidents which took place on that day were of extremely negative character, Fursenko stressed. Well-trained groups attacked the Russian fans,” he said. “We hope that Polish police will act toughly because usually guests should be protected and ensured comfortable conditions,” Fursenko said. “Euro-2012 is a real football holiday which in its scope and significance is even more important than the Olympic Games,” Fursenko stressed. “We are categorically against politics meddling into football. Football is beyond politics,” Fursenko declared. Passions had already been running high even before the game began, he noted.
“Nonetheless, we have positive expectations. We were given a hospitable welcome and were ensured proper conditions for our soccer team. The organizing committee and the authorities have prepared everything well. Police have ensured excellent protection,” Fursenko said.
“But, we cannot overlook the problem of fans,” he warned. “We must make our position clear to all. Our citizens have arrived to enjoy football, while on Tuesday in our opinion unmotivated clashes took place,” Fursenko said. “Our fans’ conduct was maximum correct. No political slogans. We celebrated a big holiday - Day of Russia, which we are used to celebrate with friends. Many Poles came over to congratulate us, but what happened afterwards caused a deep shock. I know for sure that the Russian fans did not provoke any clashes, and if something like that took place it was done in retaliation,” Fursenko assured. A family with an eight-year-old child has suffered in one of the clashes, he said.
“We are clarifying now what has really happened,” Fursenko said, referring to the incident. “No particular grave incidents took place, but the people have landed up in hospital, which speaks for itself,” he said.
“I do not understand why such a serious aggression is displayed against the fans. It is not clear either why young people who live in a prosperous country cannot show hospitality to fans from another country,” Fursenko declared.