Violence mars England’s 1-1 draw with Russia at Euro 2016


Marseille (France)—Russia fans stormed a section of England supporters inside the stadium moments after Saturday’s 1-1 draw between the countries at the European Championship on another day of violence and rioting in the southern French city of Marseille.
England and Russia fans clashed throughout the day at the Old Port district and briefly outside the nearby Stade Velodrome before the match. Police in the Mediterranean port city fired tear gas and water cannons at fighting supporters in a largely unsuccessful attempt to rein in trouble that authorities said left at least five people injured.
The clashes continued moments after the final whistle, when a large group of Russian fans in one of the stands behind the goal advanced on England supporters in the neighboring area, throwing objects and breaking through a line of stewards. England fans – including young children – fled for the exits in panic, with some having to vault railings to escape.
UEFA will open disciplinary proceedings over the violence in Marseille, with Russia facing the stronger sanctions from European soccer’s governing body after the incidents inside the stadium.
“The FA is very disappointed by the terrible scenes that we saw there and of course condemns such behavior,” said FA spokesman Mark Whittle, adding that the body was calling on French authorities “to identify those involved in the troubles and deal with them appropriately and quickly.”
Vasily Berezutsky scored Russia’s equalizer with a looping header in the second minute of injury time, canceling out Eric Dier’s goal from a free kick in the 73rd.
Dier, a defensive midfielder, was a surprising choice to take the free kick for England, but his fierce strike curled into the top corner from the edge of the area.
“It’s disappointing because we were so close to an important and big win in our first game,” Dier said. “I thought it would have been well deserved. Our emotions went from a high to a low pretty quickly.”
England failed to finish a flurry of chances in a dominant first-half performance and faded until Dier stepped up to put England ahead in the Group B match.
However, what happened during the match will be overshadowed by the fan violence before and after.
Amid the broken beer bottles and gray clouds of tear gas that filled the Old Port, families and tourists walked around the picturesque area, sometimes forced to skirt around lines of riot police.TV footage showed fans throwing chairs yanked from restaurant terraces and scuffling on a staircase, where one man was seen kicking another one down the stairs.—AP

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