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Russia

Hooligans Clash Before Poland-Russia Game

Russian soccer fans walk protected by Polish riot police in Warsaw.
Russian soccer fans walk protected by Polish riot police in Warsaw.
Soccer fans have clashed in Warsaw despite a massive Polish police presence ahead of a highly anticipated Euro 2012 match between rivals Poland and Russia.

In Warsaw, during a tense buildup ahead of the emotionally charged Poland-Russia game, some 5,000 Russian fans marched toward the National Stadium in celebration of Russia Day -- an official holiday in Russia. 
 
Despite the massive police presence, several incidents occurred, both during the march and elsewhere in the city. 
 
There were reports of injuries, and at least three people were reportedly arrested. 
 
Exploding Flares

In what appeared to be the most violent incident, Polish hooligans were seen attacking marching Russians, who responded violently.
 
Flares could be seen exploding in their midst. Several people lay injured and bleeding on the ground, with one of them appearing to be seriously hurt. 
 
Russian fans also clashed separately with police on a bridge near the National Stadium. 
 
Organizers say about 10,000 Russian and 30,000 Polish ticket holders are expected at the game. 
 
The two countries share a troubled common history, which included fighting wars against one another and occupying parts of each other's territories.
 
Many Poles think authorities should not have allowed the Russians to march as a group in Warsaw given the historical background. 
 
Russian fans appeared sure of their team's superiority, after it beat the Czech Republic 4-1 in their first game on June 9.  

"The Polish team is very strong, but we think our team is much better, although Poland has very good players in the German Bundesliga. Lewandowski is very good, very good," a Russian fan named Shulkov said.
 
A Polish fan named Darek was confident his side would prevail: "If we prepare our defense for the Russia game and if we counterattack, then we will be able to even win."
 
Poland officials have said at least 6,000 officers would be on duty in Warsaw during Euro 2012, considered a huge security challenge by the Polish authorities. 
 
In the other Group A game on June 12, the Czech Republic beat Greece 2-1 in Wroclaw. 
 
 
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters 
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ben
June 12, 2012 21:17
These Polish hooligans! No one hooligan attacks Russian marches in Russia!

by: Mamuka
June 12, 2012 21:20
During the game, Russian fans unveiled a MASSIVE banner reading (in English) "THIS IS RUSSIA"

I thought it was Poland...
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 14, 2012 06:09
Ah, Mamuka, if you studied history you know for sure that "Poland" is a flexible notion: sometimes it existed and even was big and influencial enough in order to invade Russia and impose its stooge on the Russian throne (early 17th century).
And sometimes it did not exist as an independent state at all (for example, between 1795 and 1918). In other words, the very fact that there happens to be Poland today might be a subject to change :-)).
In Response

by: Frank
June 14, 2012 07:41
Mamuka, what are you suggesting?

From what I've seen so far, the reporting on that banner hasn't been particularly well detailed. Above the banner is some kind of depiction, which (at least to my knowledge) hasn't been clearly established.

I initially thought the banner might be anti-Russian. The ESPN reporting of that game included the skirmishes minus comments on that banner - even though it was shown by that station.



In Response

by: Frank
June 14, 2012 08:13
Following up on your point Mamuka:

http://www.rt.com/sport/football/russia-poland-extremist-banner-706/


As was brought to my attention, that banner is on par with the earlier depiction of the Polish coach dressed in the Pilsudski period military garb.


by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
June 12, 2012 23:49
The poles shouldn`t have given the russians permission to march and should have fined them acc. to the relevant russian laws

by: Anarchist from: usa
June 14, 2012 06:46
Dear Europeans: Please keep sorting out your historical anger via street fights connected to soccer games. Tribal skirmishes are better than the total wars of "civilized" people.

Looking forward to a future of Rus/Pol mutual equality.

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