Russian hooligans attack Spanish tourists outside cathedral
Violence which has marred Euro 2016 spread from France to Germany when Russian hooligans set upon Spanish tourists outside Cologne Cathedral.
Seven Russians were reported to have been involved in the assault on three Spaniards – two men and one woman. One of the male victims suffered a broken nose.
According to the German media the attackers wearing gloves and balaclavas set upon the tourists at about 7 pm on Thursday night.
Plain clothes German police rushed to the tourists’ rescue, arresting six of the Russians, who were reported to be in their 20s. One of the attackers managed to escape.
According to the German police they were on the way to the airport to catch a flight back to Moscow.
They were found to have had tickets for the England v Russia match in Marseille, which ended with English supporters fleeing for their own safety after being set upon.
The outbreak of violence in Germany comes in the wake of groups of Russians being deported from France for their part in some of the worst football riots seen in western Europe for many years.
Uefa, football’s governing body in Europe, has already fined Russia €150,000 and imposed a suspended disqualification as punishment for its supporters’ part in the mayhem in Marseille.
What you need to know about the Russian ultras
The Russian hooligans, or ultras, have a fearsome reputation and have threatened to launch vicious assaults on England fans. In the run-up to Euro 2016, thugs from rival football clubs, such as Moscow's CSKA and Spartak, threatened to join forces in France against supporters from other countries. There are fears that the mobs will target black and Asian supporters of England, as well as directing racist chanting at the team members.
Russian ultras have already turned many of their domestic games into war zones. The gangs are often dominated by extreme Right-wing militants, who openly flaunt flags displaying neo-Nazi symbols. Spartak followers, along with hooligans from other Russian clubs, have attacked police and thrown flares and smoke bombs on to the pitch before home matches.