WARSAW – Due to recent Russian fan violence during Wednesday’s Euro 2012 match between co-host Poland and Russia, FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, has fined the Football Union Of Russia (RFS) $150,000 U.S. dollars and a potential six point deduction for Euro 2016 qualifying.
Russia, who would tie with co-host Poland 1-1, would see Russian supporters march through the Polish capital of Warsaw on Russia Day, which marks the break-up of the former Soviet Union—now Russia.
The Russian marchers would clash with Polish fans and result in 183 fan arrests and 15 people injured. Seven Polish, two Russians and one German were also among the noted injuries.
Poland and Russia, longtime enemies dating back to the Middle Ages and World War II, have no love for each other.
Russia would invade Poland in 1939 during World War II, Russian rule in Poland, which would end after the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1989, would help in sowing the seeds of adding another black eye to an already under-whelming Euro 2012.
Due to the recent racial abuse of black Italian soccer player, Mario Balotelli of Manchester City by Spanish soccer fans during Spain’s 1-1 draw with Italy, the ugly and violent display of international politics, ultra-nationalism and hooliganism would once again rear it’s ugly head on soccer’s biggest stage.
FIFA is to be commended for fining Russia and threatening to take valuable points away from Russia, as it should send a strong and stern message that nationalist extremism and fanatical zealots are not welcome—and will not be—tolerated during European soccer’s biggest showcase.
And with the way the shaky Euro economy is currently doing in struggling countries such as Greece and Spain, the blind ideology of the Russian fans sends the wrong kind of message.
Follow me on Twitter, @RobertCobb_76