Russia Calls On Poland To Prevent Football Violence

Posted June 13th, 2012 at 4:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Russia has called on Poland to prevent more violence during the Euro 2012 football championship.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement following violent clashes earlier this week between Polish and Russian fans in Warsaw.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday expressed his concern about the clashes, saying the event organizers bear the responsibility for the security of foreign fans.

Polish police have detained 184 people involved in clashes between Russians and Poles before and during their match in Warsaw on Tuesday.

The first clashes took place during a march by thousands of Russian fans to National Stadium for “Russia Day,” which marks the fall of the Soviet Union. Violent incidents also occurred during the game, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Poland's sports minister, Joanna Mucha, said the incident left her “ashamed” and “disgusted.” She said the people involved were “hooligans,” not fans.

Polish Interior Minister Jacek Cichocki said there will be “fast track” criminal procedures with the foreign nationals detained so sentences can be issued within two days and they can be expelled from the country.

During the march, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to subdue the clashes. Officials say 10 police officers were injured.

A Russian human rights official, Mikhail Fedotov, told Russia's Interfax news agency he plans to discuss the clashes with Polish officials on Wednesday.

Poland and Russia hold bitter feelings toward each other stemming from the occupation of Poland after World War Two and centuries of territorial conflicts before that.

Poland and Ukraine are co-hosting the 16-nation Euro 2012 championship, which will be decided on July 1 in Kyiv.