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UEFA Fines Russia, Threatens Disqualification For Further Violence


The Russian soccer federation has been fined 150,000 euros ($168,000) for fan violence at the Euro 2016 championship in France and warned that further misconduct by Russian supporters will result in the national team being disqualified from the tournament.

UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, leveled the fine and the "suspended disqualification" after a disciplinary committee hearing in Paris on June 14.

It said the disqualification would go into effect if "incidents of a similar nature happen inside the stadium" at any of Russia's remaining games.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that although the punishment was "excessive," there was "no sense" in appealing the ruling.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov slapped down Russian officials who lauded soccer hooligans involved in fighting during the tournament, while noting that fans from other countries were involved in disorder in France.

"I can't agree with these statements of my colleagues," Peskov said.

Russian fans were involved in "these outrages" along with supporters of other teams, and their actions were "absolutely unacceptable," he added.

Russia plays Slovakia on June 15 in Lille.

Russian fans clashed with English team supporters before the two countries' June 11 match in Marseille.

When the game ended in a 1-1 draw, Russian supporters attacked English fans in the stadium in fighting that continued in the city afterward.

At least 35 people -- mostly Britons -- were injured in the clashes, with one British fan in the hospital in critical condition.

French officials said some 150 Russians involved in the attacks were "extremely well-trained" and prepared for "ultraviolent action."

On June 12, 10 soccer fans -- including six Britons -- were given various sentences of up to one year for their part in the violence in Marseille.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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