Europe

Euro 2016: France expels Russia far-right fan chief Shprygin

Supporters clash at an England-Russia game Image copyright AFP
Image caption Violence erupted at the end of the Euro 2016 match

The far-right leader of the Russian football supporters' association is being thrown out of France following violence at the England-Russia Euro 2016 match in Marseille.

Alexander Shprygin is among 20 Russian fans being deported.

They were detained on Tuesday while travelling from Marseille to Lille to watch Russia face Slovakia.

Three other detained Russian fans have been jailed for up to two years over the violence in Marseille.

They are also banned from re-entering France for two years. The men received 12, 18 and 24 months in prison.

Separately, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said he was investigating an attack on two England fans ahead of the 1-1 draw with Russia as attempted murder.

Russia trials possible

The arrests have angered Moscow, which summoned the French ambassador to protest.

A Russian foreign ministry statement warned against "further stoking of anti-Russian sentiments".

Deputy Foreign Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying blacklists of troublemakers would be drawn up before the 2018 World Cup, which Russia is hosting.

He said those accused of violence in France might yet face trial in Russia. "We need to figure out who did what," he said.

Mr Shprygin's All-Russia Supporters Union is backed by the Kremlin. He is reported to hold far-right views and has been photographed giving a Nazi salute.

A statement from the union said he and the other 19 fans had been transferred to a deportation centre from which they would be expelled in the next five days.

It said the French authorities were taking the measures for "security reasons".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Alexander Shprygin (L) and his football movement are backed by President Vladimir Putin

Russia and England fans clashed before and after the two teams played on Saturday.

French police blamed 150 "well-trained" Russian hooligans for the violence.

Afterwards, Russia was hit with a fine and a suspended disqualification, meaning the team will be thrown out of the Euro tournament if their fans cause more trouble inside stadiums.

Five England fans were jailed for throwing bottles at police and a sixth jailed in connection with the violence.

On Wednesday at least 36 people were arrested in the city of Lille and 16 taken to hospital following disorder involving England supporters.

In total, French police have made more than 300 arrests since the start of the European championships.

"Of these arrests, 196 were taken into custody, eight convicted to jail terms and three given suspended sentences," an interior ministry statement said.

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