(WFI) UEFA is studying police reports of the violent clashes between Polish and Russian supporters in Warsaw last night that led to 184 arrests.
A spokesman told World Football INSIDER that information was being gathered before UEFA considers what action to take.
It’s likely that both the Polish and Russian football federations will be punished after the ugly TV images of fan violence went global last night, marring a pulsating 1-1 draw between Poland and Russia.
“UEFA condemns the isolated incidents that occurred yesterday in the city of Warsaw prior to and after the Poland-Russia match, when some groups of known troublemakers pelted the police with missiles and attacked fans irrespective of the team they were supporting,” UEFA said in a statement.
“Those arrested and charged will have to be dealt with by the relevant authorities.”
It added: “UEFA’s philosophy is to create a welcoming environment coupled with a low-profile approach to policing. The focus should be on facilitating the enjoyment of the matches by genuine football fans and isolating the tiny percentage of troublemakers. UEFA is in a constant dialogue with the public authorities in order to achieve this aim.
“UEFA is determined that the overwhelmingly peaceful and festive atmosphere that has so far pervaded UEFA EURO 2012 will be continued right up to and including the final in Kyiv on Sunday 1 July.”
The outbreak of hooliganism, which European football’s governing body had feared, came ahead of the match outside the Stadion Narodowy. Clashes reportedly also took place between groups of fans around the 100,000-capacity fan zone in the city centre.
Riot police fired teargas, rubber bullets and used water cannons on both sets of fans when the first wave of violence erupted as 5,000 Russian supporters marched over the main bridge leading to the stadium.
Polish police officers were pelted with rocks and bottles by the hooligans, some of whom were masked or wore hoods to disguise. their identity. More than a two dozen people, including police, were injured.
Warsaw police blamed a group of Polish hooligans for triggered the pitched battles. Of the fans detained by police, more than 150 were Polish, they said. Police are studying CCTV footage and further arrests are planned today.
There was a heavy police presence for the game amid concerns that violence would flare between the rival fans. While the Soviet domination of Poland post World War II is an ongoing source of friction, relations between the two countries soured two years ago when Poland’s president was killed in a plane crash in Russia.
Meanwhile, UEFA’s disciplinary panel meets today to decide on the punishment it will mete out to the Russian FA after fans attacked stewards, threw fireworks and displayed abusive banners during their team’s match against the Czech Republic last Friday.
The alleged racist abuse directed at the Czech Republic’s only black player, Theodor Gebre Selassie, is also under scrutiny and likely to be reflected in the punishment.
UEFA is set to issue a statement about sanctions for the Russian FA later today.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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