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Detained Russian football fans refused to show documents upon police request — diplomat

June 14, 20:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian football fans, whose bus was stopped by French policemen earlier in the day in the southeast of France, have been officially detained for 24 hours
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Russian football fans in Marseille, France, 11 June 2016

Russian football fans in Marseille, France, 11 June 2016

© EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

MOSCOW, June 14. /TASS/. Russian football fans detained earlier in the day in the southeast of France were refusing to show their identification documents upon a request from French policemen, Sergey Parinov, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in France, told Russia’s TV channel Rossiya-24.

Earlier on Tuesday, local law enforcement officials stopped a bus carrying 29 Russian football fans on the way to Lille to see their home team’s second group stage match. Local authorities in Alpes-Maritimes in France’s southeast, where the bus was pulled over, told TASS that officers had wanted to check the football fans’ documents.

"The whole situation with the bus is blown out of proportions," Parinov said. "The bus was stopped by French policemen for inspection of documents. This is a routine procedure, particularly in the light of heightened security regime in the country during the tournament."

"Our compatriots, however, refused to present their identification documents as well as to leave the bus," the diplomat said. "A situation of total misunderstanding shaped up and under the circumstances the French policemen had the right, or even obliged to some extent, to use force taking over the bus."

Parinov added that at the moment all detained Russian fans were checked up for their possible involvement in a string of brawls with English fans last week in Marseille.

A number of clashes were reported between foreign football fans and locals as the major European football tournament kicked off on Friday. Altercations also erupted between Russian and English fans ahead of the June 11th match. Brawls began on Thursday in Marseille peaking at Saturday’s match.

Law enforcement resorted to tear gas, smoke pellets and water cannons 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.

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. The venues of both matches are located only 40 kilometers (25 miles) apart from each other.

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