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SBD Global/June 14, 2012/International Football

UEFA Slaps Fine On Russian Football For Fan Violence At Euro 2012

Russian fans are under vigilance by police following Tuesday's violence in Warsaw.
UEFA fined the Russian football association $150,000 because its fans "attacked stadium stewards" at a Euro 2012 match, according to the AP. Russia "could be deducted six points" in its Euro 2016 qualifying group for a repeat offense. UEFA rules "hold football associations responsible" for their fans' behavior inside stadiums. UEFA said in a statement, "'This decision is suspended for a probationary period running from now until the end of the playoffs of the next UEFA European Football Championship." Russia "can appeal the verdict within three days" (AP, 6/13). BLOOMBERG's Tariq Panja reported that the Russian federation "was facing the penalties because supporters set off fireworks and displayed illicit banners” during the team’s opening game June 8 with the Czech Republic (BLOOMBERG, 6/13). The London TELEGRAPH reported that Poland Sports Minister Joanna Mucha revealed her "shame" at local fans who "attempted to disrupt the European Championship by attacking rival Russia supporters." Warsaw police have made more than 183 arrests "relating to clashes between Poland and Russia fans" and "expect to add to that number" as investigations continue (TELEGRAPH, 6/13). The London TELEGRAPH also reported that "it was unclear whether either team will face any sanctions." UEFA condemned the violence in a statement, but but was otherwise "unavailable for comment" Wednesday (TELEGRAPH, 6/13). The London GUARDIAN's Paul Wilson opined on The Sport Blog that "you cannot have a match involving Russia in Poland, especially on a Russian bank holiday for Russian Day, without expecting a certain amount of friction." It was always a "mad idea to allow a Russian march from Warsaw central station to the stadium two miles away" (GUARDIAN, 6/13).

PITCH PROBLEM: In London, the GUARDIAN's Sid Lowe reported that Spain's players and coaching staff "criticised the fact that the pitch was dry and the grass long" during the Italy game, "slowing the surface and making it harder to pass the ball." The Spanish federation "complained to UEFA." Italian Federation VP Demetrio Albertini admitted that he "had refused a request to have the pitch watered" just before kick‑off, which is "in line with UEFA rules." Spain goalkeeper Pepe Reina said, "They've got to do something about the state of the pitch if they want the quality of the game to be better. For the sake of the game, I hope it is better" (GUARDIAN, 6/12).

THAILAND TURN DOWN: In Thailand, UEFA has "turned down" media conglomerate GMM Grammy's request to allow pay-television provider TrueVisions to gain access to the signal of Euro 2012 matches. UEFA Media Rights Manager Ian Wilson explained in a letter to GMM Grammy that the sub-licensing request "had come too late" because the tournament had already started. The letter read, "TrueVisions cannot transmit any Euro 2012 programmes because it is not owned by or affiliated with Grammy" (BANGKOCK POST, 6/13).
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