GENEVA, June 14. /TASS/. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) fined on Tuesday the Russian Football Union (RFU) €150,000 ($168,200) over Russian football fans’ misconduct during their national team’s opening match of the 2016 Euro Cup against England last week.
"The independent UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) met today in Paris to deal with the disciplinary proceedings opened against the Russian Football Union (RFU) following the incidents which occurred inside the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, at the UEFA EURO 2016 match against England on 11 June," the statement from the CEDB said.
"Charges relating to crowd disturbances, use of fireworks and racist behavior had been brought against the RFU, and the CEDB decided to impose… a fine of €150,000," the statement said.
The UEFA also issued a suspended disqualification for the Russian team, which means that the national squad would be disqualified from the major European football tournament in case of the recurrent instance of Russian fans misbehavior.
"…this disqualification is suspended until the end of the tournament," the statement said. "Such suspension will be lifted if incidents of a similar nature (crowd disturbances) happen inside the stadium at any of the remaining matches of the Russian team during the tournament."
The Russian Football Union (RFU) will not be filing an appeal against the decision passed by the Union of the European Football Associations (UEFA) in the wake of the Russian fans misconduct at the 2016 Euro Cup in France, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who heads the Russian Football Union, told TASS.
"A disciplinary decision has been made and we are waiting for an official notification," Mutko, who is also the sports minister of Russia, said in an interview with TASS. "We will be following the decision of UEFA and there must be no other stance of the RFU."
The country’s governing body of football said in its statement it accepted the sanctions imposed by UEFA, although considered the verdict excessive.
"The RFU accepts the verdict, although considers it to be quite excessive," the statement said. "We once again call on our Russian football supporters to behave decently, abide by all conduct regulations at stadiums and in public places since one more set of penalties may result in the most aggravated consequences."
"The Russian team and millions of its supporters in our country must not fall victim to thoughtless actions of certain individuals," the statement added.
Altercations erupted between Russian and English fans ahead of the June 11th 2016 Euro Cup opening group stage match. Fights were reported to start on Thursday in Marseille peaking at Saturday’s match.
Law enforcement resorted to tear gas and smoke pellets to disperse the brawlers.
In its kick off group stage match, team England took on the Russian national squad on Saturday, June 11, in Marseille at the Stade Velodrome. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
The 2016 Euro Cup competing teams were divided into six groups, with Russia placed into Group B, sharing it with England, Wales and Slovakia.
Russia is playing its next round-robin match against Slovakia on Wednesday, June 15, at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille. Team England is scheduled to face Wales on Thursday, June 16, at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.
Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has supported the decision to deport fans who have come for the Euro 2016 in France not just to watch football.
Earlier on Tuesday, local law enforcement officials stopped a bus near Cannes carrying 29 Russian football fans on the way to Lille to see their home team’s second group stage match. Alexander Shprygin, the head of the Union of Russian Fans (URF), earlier said that the French authorities had planned to deport all of those detained.
"Please understand it right, we know that 29 people will be deported as they [fans] have arrived not to watch football. No one is planning to punish anyone illegally in any country of the world. Let’s not whip up tensions, let’s calm down, the European Championship is underway - it’s a holiday of football, and we only speak about fighting and fines," Mutko told TASS.