Tuesday 14 June 2016

Russian FA Official Says Their Fans Defended Honour Of Country

A Russian Football Association member has defended the actions of their fans in Marseille, claiming they were defending the honour of their country. His claims came on the same day that Marseille's chief prosecutor said much of the trouble in the past week was caused by a hardcore group of 150 Russian hooligans who were trained to fight.

Igor Lebedev, a member of the FA's executive committee, an MP and deputy chairman of the Russian parliament, insisted that the Russians involved in the fighting inside the stadium were reacting to provocation from English hooligans - and added that nine out of 10 football supporters goes to matches purely to fight.

He said “The guys defended the honour of the country and did not allow the British in any way to defile our homeland. Our fans are far from the worst. It is unclear why so many media are trying to denounce the actions of our football fans - and for what exactly? If there were no provocation on the part of the English fans, our fans are unlikely to have got into a fight in the stands. We need to understand that football fans in nine out of 10 cases come to the game to fight and this is a normal situation. Our fans must be understood and forgiven”.

A leading Russian fans group - 'Fans' Embassy Russia' was more conciliatory as they release a statement saying “The team expresses its regret about the situation with riots involving Russian fans in Marseille. We strongly believe that such behaviour is not the norm for our citizens who are travelling to support the Russian national team in France. We are very sorry for those English people who have been injured and are now in hospital. We wish them the fastest recovery. As Fans' Embassy Russia, we would like to emphasise the friendly communication and mutual respect that we have witnessed between the fans of Russia and England during their stay in Marseille

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