(WFI) UEFA says it is studying video surveillance and security reports after a group of Russian fans attacked stewards in Wroclaw’s stadium following their team’s 4-1 demolition of Czech Republic.
Mobile camera footage posted on YouTube shows the fans punching and kicking stewards on a crowded concourse in the Polish city’s Stadion Miejski. Several stadium staff were treated for injuries in the local hospital but late discharged, according to reports.
“UEFA is aware that at yesterday’s Group A match in Wroclaw between Russia and the Czech Republic there was a brief and isolated incident involving a small group of around 30 fans who attacked a handful of stewards,” UEFA said in a statement sent to INSIDER.
“The situation was quickly and efficiently brought under control. The local police are aware of the incident and investigating.
The statement added: “The cause of the incident is not currently known but we are studying the security reports and available images. UEFA remains entirely committed to the safety and security of all fans and spectators at all matches of Euro 2012.”
Wroclaw police are sifting through CCTV footage to try to identify the hooligans who marred Russian celebrations at the stadium last night.
The incident raises fears of similar scenes of fan violence erupting in Warsaw for Russia’s next match against co-hosts Poland on Tuesday. Warsaw police are expected to be out in force ahead of the match.
Meanwhile, reports of racist abuse directed at Czech Republic’s only black player have also tarnished Russia’s impressive start to their Euro 2012 campaign.
The Football Against Racism in Europe network confirmed that Theodor Gebre Selassie was subjected to monkey chants during last night’s match.
FARE’s observers at the 31 matches of Euro 2012 are reporting racist abuse and
use of offensive banners back to UEFA. It has at least two monitors at each of the games.
The anti-racism group says its ‘Respect Diversity- Football Unites’ programme “includes an unprecedented level of monitoring” at European Championship matches.
FARE is also operating a reporting hotline for fans to report racist and discriminatory incidents.
The alleged abuse of Gebre Selassie came a day after some black players in the Netherlands squad were racially abuses during training in Krakow.
Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk told a press conference yesterday: “I didn’t hear any racist noises. But some people in the Dutch camp did hear it.”
Captain Mark van Bommel admitted he and some of his teammates had heard monkey chanting.
Asked what it was he’d heard, and if there were ‘ooh-ooh’ noises’, he told reporters:” Yes, exactly what you just said, yes.”
Van Marwijk intervened when a reporter asked how many players heard the racist abuse and what their reaction had been.
“The whole group heard it,” said Van Marwijk. “I was happy that we were going to the other side [of the training pitches] and I think that it was the right decision.”
Commenting on this evening’s match against Denmark in Kharkiv, the Dutch coach agreed that the Danish are underdogs in what is billed as the toughest group of the tournament – the ‘Group of Death’ also features Germany and Portugal who play in Lviv in the second game tonight.
“That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. We are not going to underestimate them, let’s be clear on that,” he said.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson in Warsaw
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