EURO 2012

UEFA fines Russian Football Union

The Football Union of Russia (RFS) were fined for violent and offensive fan behavior.
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Russia will spend the next three-and-a-half years playing under the threat of a six-point deduction after UEFA got tough over the behavior of their fans.

The Russian Football Union were also fined 120,000 euros (£96,761) for the "improper conduct" of their supporters during their opening Euro 2012 Group A match against Czech Republic on Friday.

UEFA said in a statement: "The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has today decided to impose a deduction of six points on the Football Union of Russia (RFS) in the qualifying round of the next UEFA European Football Championship.

"This decision is suspended for a probationary period running from now until the end of the play-offs of the next UEFA European Football Championship (UEFA Euro 2016).

"The Football Union of Russia (RFS) has also been fined 120,000 euros.

"The RFS was facing charges for the improper conduct of its supporters (crowd disturbances), the setting off and throwing of fireworks and the display of illicit banners at last Friday's UEFA Euro 2012 Group A match against the Czech Republic in Wroclaw.

"An appeal can be lodged against this decision within three days of the dispatch of the written decision."

UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings 24 hours after Russia's 4-1 win in Wroclaw on Friday night.

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Violence erupted at the game when a handful of stewards were attacked by groups of fans in a walkway in the 40,000-capacity Municipal Stadium.

Reports claimed four members of stadium staff were taken to hospital and released later that evening.

Footage released online the following morning showed one steward left in a heap on the ground after being set upon by several assailants, while another was kicked in the head while trying to evade a lone attacker.

Supporters in the stands also set off and threw fireworks and displayed a nationalist 'Russian Empire' flag, something which has been associated with the far right.

It was unclear this afternoon if UEFA's punishment was also for the alleged monkey chants aimed at Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie or whether that would be dealt with separately.

Russia could face further sanctions for the behavior of their supporters during last night's 1-1 draw with Poland, which was marred by violence outside the National Stadium in Warsaw.

Fans inside the ground also displayed a giant 'This is Russia' banner, something that could be seen as a taunt about the decades of Moscow control over Poland during the Cold War.

Today's sanctions are a huge embarrassment for Russia, who are under increasing pressure to deal with supporter problems having been named hosts for the 2018 World Cup.

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