France jails three Russian fans over Euro 2016 violence

France has sentenced three Russian fans to prison and plans to deport 20 others next week for their role in the violence in Marseille that marred Russia’s Euro 2016 opening match against England.

France jails three Russian fans over Euro 2016 violence

Violence has since moved to the north, where Russia played Slovakia on Wednesday and England beat Wales yesterday but nothing as bad as the violence witnessed last week in the south.

Among the three Russians given prison terms is Alexei Erunov, the director for fan relations at leading Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow. He was sentenced to two years.

Part of the evidence against Erunov was footage filmed by another Russian fan and posted online.

Erunov was seen shouting and gesturing on the video, which also showed acts of violence. He denied playing any role in the violence.

Dynamo Moscow fan Nikolai Morozov received a 12-month sentence and Sergei Gorbachev, the director of a construction company in the central Russian city of Tula, received 18 months.

All three also face a two-year ban from France upon release. The sentences were passed the same day French officials said 20 more Russian fans would be deported because of what regional prefect Stephane Bouillon called “their participation in skirmishes linked to the England-Russia game”.

The 20 were detained alongside the three who were tried yesterday and included Alexander Shprygin, president of the All-Russian Fans’ Union, who has a role in Russian football’s governing body and sits on a commission overseeing Moscow’s preparations for hosting the 2018 World Cup.

Mr Shprygin said Russian fans had been unfairly victimised by French authorities.

“We consider (the deportations) a political decision,” he said, saying none of the 20 had been involved in the violence. We’ve filed an appeal against our removal.

"We’re waiting for the consul and for lawyers,” he said, saying the fans had given phone records to the police indicating that they were not present for the violence around last week’s game.

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