Fan chief says Russians suffering 'politicized' treatment at Euro 2016

Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:10pm EDT
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The head of Russia's football supporters' association on Thursday said Russian fans were the victims of "politicized" treatment at Euro 2016 and blamed French authorities for violence.

Alexander Shprygin said the All-Russian Supporters Association was looking at how to bring home three supporters who were jailed in France for taking part in violence in Marseille on June 11 as England played Russia.

"The main thing for us at the moment is the fate of these guys and we will be putting in all our efforts in order to sort this out," Shprygin told a news conference at the TASS news agency.

Shprygin said he was in contact with Alexei Yerunov, Nikolai Morozov and Sergei Gorbachev, who received sentences of up to two years.

On June 14, 20 Russian fans, including Shprygin, were detained by police. Most were deported home to Russia.

"This is a politicized history and is just unacceptable," said Shprygin.

"They said that we went to France with some sort of special mission – not to support the national team – but to carry out illegal things. These are lies and its absurd."

"Just look at how the fans of Poland and Hungary are behaving at the Euros – they are causing trouble and lighting flares. However, all the attention for some reason is on the Russians."   Continued...

Alexander Shprygin, the leader of a Russian soccer fan union, attends a news conference in Moscow, Russia June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin