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Argentina Asks Russia To Deport Fans Who Beat Up Croatians At Soccer Match

Argentina fans looking dejected after their loss to Croatia at the World Cup.
Argentina fans looking dejected after their loss to Croatia at the World Cup.

Argentina on June 22 said it has asked Russia to detain and deport four of its soccer fans filmed fighting with Croatian fans at a World Cup match.

A video filmed during an emotionally-charged match between Argentina and Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod on June 21 showed a group of men fighting in the stands.

Russia's World Cup organizing committee said seven Argentinians had been detained by police after the match, in which Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 and left the hopes of the twice world champions hanging by a thread.

The Argentinian security ministry said in a statement it had identified four Argentinian fans in the video and it would "ask Russian authorities to immediately detain them so they can be deported."

A spokesman for the Russia-2018 organizing committee said: "The matter is now with the judicial authorities to judge the matter in line with the governing laws."

The video, filmed during the match and widely circulated on social media, shows men in Argentinian and Croatian team colors kicking and punching each other as onlookers try to break up the fight.

One Croatian supporter is punched and hit repeatedly while lying on the ground and then kicked in the head.

Soccer's world governing body FIFA said in a statement that it was "absolutely shocked by the images" and "firmly condemns the behavior of these so-called fans."

"FIFA is cooperating with the relevant security authorities and will do its utmost to contribute to identifying the individuals involved in these criminal acts in order to ensure that they are punished accordingly," it said.

The Croatian Football Federation said it was "shocked" by the video and was "very saddened to see a Croatian fan suffering."

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AP