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Russian Hooligans during Euro 2016 Threaten Kremlin’s Goals

In the shutting mins of the now barbarous Jun 11 compare opposite England in Marseilles, France, Vasily Berezutsky rose to head home the equalizing goal. What happened subsequent finished front-page news opposite the world. A charge by Russian supporters into English sections of the track grown into a mass brawl. At least 36 people were injured, 4 seriously, in these and earlier clashes.

Three days later, European football’s ruling physique UEFA handed out a stern chastisement to the Russians. There was a fine of 150,000 euros ($168,000) for the Russian Football Union, and a “suspended disqualification” given to the Russian inhabitant team. Any repeat of the track assault will meant Russia is out of the tournament.

The same day, a bus carrying Russian football fans was stopped on its approach to Lille, where the Russian group played the second match. Forty-three Russian fans were arrested.

Who were the Russians who had trafficked to France, so keen, it seems, for a fight?

These were especially Russian “ultras,” far-right hooligans, members of so-called “firms” at main Russian football clubs. “They came privately to fight,” Russian sports publisher Ivan Kalashnikov says. “They have this thought in their heads that they have to show their strength. Most of them don’t even to the stadiums to watch the game,” he adds.

One of the sum to emerge early on was that the nationalist romantic Alexander Shprygin had trafficked to France with the official Russian FA delegation. The Moscow Dynamo fan had been graphic with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and President Vladimir Putin in 2010. Shprygin orderly a charter moody from Moscow to France for the Russian Supporters Union, that he founded in 2007. It is misleading what role, if any, Shprygin played in the disturbances.

Having a far-right former hooligan as the face of Russian football fans has reportedly lifted concerns among UEFA officials and anti-racism organizations. These concerns are aggravated by the fact that Russia is meant to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Hooliganism is, of course, not singular to Russia. The “ultras” football enlightenment of violence and far-right ideologies can be found opposite the post-Soviet world. Many “ultras” indication their function on that of the English football hooligans of the 1970s and 1980s. But in Russia, the “ultras” sub-culture, famous locally as “okolofutbola,” has a strong following. And, as Shprygin’s inclusion in the central commission indicates, they are some-more or reduction tolerated by the authorities.

The reaction from Moscow was accordingly ambivalent.

On the one hand, the Kremlin and government were clever to condemn the violence, no doubt with one eye on the arriving 2018 World Cup. Mutko set an apologetic tone, observant the Russian fans had “brought contrition to the country.”

But the arrests of the Russian fans valid too most for other supervision officials. Following the detention of Russian Supporters Union members, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sent a strongly-worded summary to his French reflection Jean-Marc Ayrault. Lavrov claimed the arrest disregarded general agreements and called for avoiding such measures in the future.

“The function of some Russian fans is unacceptable, though ignoring provocative function of foreign fans is also unacceptable,” the foreign apportion said, commenting on the conditions in the State Duma.

Emotionally, many Russians sympathize with the “ultras” and other open total were some-more forthright. Writing on social media, the former press secretary of the Russian Football Federation Andrei Malosolov praised a “victory”: “Don’t the Russians merit honour for their fearlessness? They kick the citizens of a nation that … has always been an enemy of Russia.”

Igor Lebedev, a Duma emissary and Executive Committee member of the Russian Football Union, combined to Russia’s anti-diplomacy effort. Tweeting shortly after the match, he wrote: “I don’t see anything wrong with the fans fighting. Quite the opposite, good finished lads, keep it up!”

In comments finished to The Moscow Times, Lebedev after explained he didn’t meant to support the Russian fans “very bad” function and that they should be punished — “but they merit dignified support being left alone there.” Lebedev pronounced that the violence had happened since the French authorities were unprepared.

The outspoken emissary conceded that dangling suspension was the “best of the misfortune penalties” that could have been made. “They could have thrown us out, definition debates about holding the 2018 World Cup divided from Russia would have started again,” he said.

Since hosting the World Cup is critical to Russia, avoiding serve complications at the 2016 Euro Cup is crucial. During a meeting with the Security Council, Putin pronounced that in preparations for the 2018 World Cup, Russia contingency “learn the lessons of assuring correct confidence at football events from the knowledge in France.”  

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/572705.html