FA calls for Euro 2016 calm – but supporters’ group hits back at accusations of violence
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FA calls for Euro 2016 calm – but supporters’ group hits back at accusations of violence

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The chief executive of the football+Association'>Football Association (FA) has urged English fans in France for Euro 2016 to “act responsibly and respectfully” following several violent scenes.

Responding to a letter sent by the European Championships organiser UEFA, FA chief Martin Glenn issued a statement to urge fans that have travelled to watch England games to stay out of trouble.

A number of England fans were arrested when violence erupted in Marseille following the nation’s group match with Russia on Saturday night, which ended in a 1-1 draw. UEFA has since threatened to disqualify both nations if trouble flares up again.

“Violent scenes like those witnessed over the weekend have no place in football, nor society as a whole,” said Glenn. “We want people – fans and locals – to feel safe and enjoy a festival atmosphere at the Euros and we will continue to work closely with all the relevant authorities to achieve that.”

However, the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has strongly defended the behaviour of those who travelled to Marseille, claiming that England fans were “subjected to numerous, pre-planned, organised and brutal attacks in several occasions” and that dozens of fans had been injured.

“With a few honourable exceptions, the knee-jerk first response of many in the media and in politics has been once again to cast blame on us, lazily or to suit their own agenda falling back on out-of-date stereotypes about English hooligans abroad,” said the FSF.

“We have witnessed groups coming together – sometimes Russian hooligans, sometimes Marseille ultras, sometimes simply gangs of local youths – with a deliberate aim of attacking England fans eating and drinking in and outside bars and restaurants or making our way to the game. Some of them have been tooled up, some of them have had their faces masked, but all of them have been intent on starting trouble and initiating violence.”

The FSF called on the French police to rectify the situation to ensure England fans can enjoy the rest of the tournament.

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The chief executive of the Football Association (FA) has urged English fans in France for Euro 2016 to “act responsibly and respectfully” following several violent scenes.
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