Friday 13 December 2019

Moscow summons French ambassador in bizarre response following detention of Russian fans

Russia hooligans attacked England fans during the Euros last year
Russia hooligans attacked England fans during the Euros last year

Jean-Maurice Ripert, the French ambassador to Russia, has been summoned by the Russian Foreign Ministry over the detention of their supporters following the violence which has marred the opening week of the European Championship.

A group of 29 Russian football fans are being deported in relation to the clashes between England and Russia supporters before, during and after the 1-1 draw between the two nations on Saturday night in Marseille. Six England fans have been handed jail sentences and given two-year bans from travelling to France after 35 people were injured at Vieux Port.

A statement said: “On June 15, French Ambassador to Moscow Jean-Maurice Ripert was summoned to the Russian Defence Ministry. He was notified of the protest in connection with yesterday's detention of a group of Russian fans who headed from Marseille to Lille for the next match of the Euro-2016 match with the Russian [football] team.”

The foreign ministry also noted that it “draws the attention of the French diplomat to discriminatory and non-selective nature of measures against Russian nationals as the Marseille prosecutor decided to detain for 48 hours all 43 people [heading to Lille on a bus], including three drivers, to conduct an investigation.”

New agency AFP said on Tuesday afternoon that 43 Russians were in custody in relation to the violent scenes. Reports in Russia have since suggested some or all of those detained have since been released following a “mistake” by French police.

As reported by The Independent, up to 300 Russian hooligans arrived in Marseille armed with martial arts gloves and gum shields intent on attacking their English counterparts as they congregated in bars and restaurants before kick-off.

Uefa have handed Russia with a fine and suspended disqualification for scenes inside the stadium after match.

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