EURO Diary: Russia Face Points Deduction amid 184 Arrests. FAI Denounces Bigots


FAI unhappy with sectarian chants on Youtube

The disturbances at the recent match between Russia and the Czech Republic may cost the Russians dear in the future.

Some of their fans brawled with Polish stewards at their opening match with the video being globally viewed on YouTube.

Today the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body decided to impose a deduction of six points on the Football Union of Russia (RFS) for the qualifying competition of the 2016 European Football Championship.

This decision is suspended for a probationary period running from now until the end of the play-offs in 2016.

A €120,000 ($150,000) fine has also been levied. The charges faced were for the improper conduct of its supporters, the setting off and throwing of fireworks and the display of illicit banners (See below) at last Friday’s match which Russia won 4-1.

Meanwhile, the FAI is reportedly unhappy that a small group of dedicated sectarian bigots is sullying the otherwise excellent reputation of Republic of Ireland fans. The Belfast Newsletter, a paper whose editorial slant is somewhat unsympathetic to the Republic, contacted the FAI about some YouTube videos that showed Ireland fans chanting pro-IRA chants and insulting slogans about the Queen.

They quote a FAI spokesman as saying:

“We are very disappointed by the nature of the chanting highlighted in the YouTube clip. Our fans enjoy an excellent reputation the world over and the actions of this small group do not reflect the attitudes or actions of the vast majority of our fans. This incident will be investigated and further actions may be taken as necessary.”

The Irish players will be sporting black armbands when they face Italy on June 18th to commemorate the victims of a terrorist attack by Ulster Loyalists reports the Independent. Six Catholic civilians were murdered in a Loughinisland pub 18 years ago when watching the Republic play on television in the 1994 World Cup.

The Unionist Ulster Volunteer Force were responsible although, despite 16 arrests, no-one was ever convicted. Needless to say, families of Protestant civilians murdered by the IRA have now asked that the Republic team commemorate victims of Republican terrorism.

UEFA granted permission for the commemoration after the FAI approached them on behalf of the families of the Loughinisland bereaved.

One of the most expected highlights of any tournament is the first report of infighting among the Dutch camp. We usually don’t have to wait too long and EURO2012 is no exception.

The Guardian reports that Wesley Sneijder has castigated the ‘pathetic egos’ of the Dutch players.

“It is time we let go of these pathetic egos,” he said. “If somebody is creating a mess [within the squad], I will stand up against them. We don’t need a psychologist with the Dutch team, we are grown-up men.

The ones who have a problem with other players or the manager should tell them face to face. That is the only psychology we need. We have to stop living on little islands. We must all go for the same goal, be united or face the consequences.”

As if to prove the uphill nature of his struggle, Rafa van der Vaart decided to tell the Dutch sports paper Voetbal International of his view that Rafa van der Vaart should be selected:

“The coach has his preferences, I am not part of them and I don’t think that is going to change. We have seen in the past few years that the coach does not make changes to the starting lineup easily.

It is great to have a nucleus of first-choice players, a lot less so for those who have to sit on the bench. Besides I believe I am in tremendous form. I will continue to give 100% but at the same time I have the right to express my disappointment.”

Long Tan knows how he feels (see right).

Talking of complaining, England have already found their scapegoat for any potential loss against Sweden, Slovenian referee Damir Skomina.

The Guardian ran a chronicle of a variety of poor decisions the estate agent has made against English clubs in Europe.

‘Skomina actually took charge of six games involving Premier League clubs in Europe last season, showing 32 yellow cards and one red. That dismissal was for Benfica’s Maxi Pereira in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea, though English teams have suffered red cards at his hand in the recent past.

… (he) sent off Tottenham Hotspur’s Heurelho Gomes at San Siro after eight minutes of a Champions League group game against Internazionale in October 2010 – the visitors eventually lost 4-3 – and England’s goalkeeper Robert Green for a professional foul early in the final World Cup qualifying group game against Ukraine in October 2009.’

The same paper is also reporting that Spurs are toying with the idea of parting company with Harry Redknapp.

184 arrests were made last night in Warsaw in the aftermath of the Poland v Russia game.

The Independent says that:

‘Among those arrested by the 6,400 police on the streets following reinforcements from other cities were 157 Poles and 24 Russians.’

Russian fans marched through Warsaw on Russia Day (June 12th), prompting attacks by Poles unhappy at such an ostentatious display of Russian Nationalism on their streets. The massive “This is Russia” banner unfurled inside the stadium didn’t go down too well either.

UEFA were said to be deciding whether it represents an extremist symbol. This morning’s decision tends to suggest they thought it was.

Poland’s sports minister Joanna Mucha said the “shocking” violence had left her feeling “ashamed”.

And to think no-one’s even mentioned the Germany v Holland game.


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1 Comment

  1. Everyone has been expecting chaos ever since they awarded the tournament to Poland/Ukraine. I was just hoping for more Femen involvement. . .