24 people hurt in Russian, Polish clashes
At least 24 people were injured and more than 180 hooligans detained in clashes before and during a European Championship match between Poland and Russia, officials said Wednesday.
Edyta Galazkowska, spokeswoman for the Warsaw ambulance service, said that 14 Russians, one German, one U.S. citizen and one Pakistani were among the injured. The nationality of seven others was being established. None was in life-threatening condition, she said.
About 50 people were take to hospitals, 10 of them still there early Wednesday, according to the Warsaw province office.
Interior Minister Jacek Cichocki said that 156 Poles and 24 Russians have been detained, along with one Hungarian and one Spanish man. One Russian was detained on suspicion he threw a firecracker onto the field during the game.
Cichocki said the Russians will go through summary court trials aimed at expelling them from Poland and lifting their European Union visas, and the detained Poles should ''not sleep soundly'' because they will face court trial and harsh punishment as well.
Police used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets Tuesday to disperse fights between fans of the rival teams and also to repel attacks by Polish fans against officers in the Polish capital. The fights took place in various places in downtown Warsaw. However, none were at the National Stadium or in the downtown fan zone where about 75,000 watched the match on giant TV screens.
The match finished 1-1, prompting comments of relief from Poland supporters and newspaper headlines Wednesday that stressed Poland still has a chance to advance to the quarterfinals if it defeats the Czech Republic on Saturday.
Cichocki said about 7,000 police officers were deployed in Warsaw on Tuesday and said they were successful in assuring the security of regular football fans.