Europe

Russian fan leader Shprygin back in France at Euro 2016

Alexander Shprygin and other fans leave Sheremetevo airport in Moscow 18/06/2016 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Alexander Shprygin and a group of other Russia fans flew from Nice to Moscow on Saturday

Russian football fan leader Alexander Shprygin has been detained in France, two days after being expelled from the country, French officials say.

He had been put on a flight to Moscow after violence at Russia's Euro 2016 match with England nine days ago.

Having returned to France, Mr Shprygin was arrested in the stadium at Russia's match against Wales in Toulouse.

He is reported to hold far-right views and his All-Russia Supporters' Union is backed by the Kremlin.

Shortly before his latest detention, Mr Shprygin spoke to French news agency AFP by telephone, saying he was at the game in Toulouse.

"I am at the match with a ticket," he told the agency.

"The French authorities told me I was not deported but just expelled, my Schengen visa has not been cancelled and all the stamps are there. So I can legally be in the European Union."

The Russian fan leader also posted photographs of himself on Twitter, apparently standing outside the stadium.

A French interior ministry spokesman told AFP: "Alexander Shprygin was arrested in the stadium this evening and placed in custody.

"His case will be examined... and could lead to legal proceedings."

Russia went on to lose their match against Wales 3-0 and have now been eliminated from the tournament.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There was a heavy security presence at the game in Toulouse but no reports of trouble

Mr Shprygin was among 43 Russian fans held last week en route to Lille to watch Russia's second game of Euro 2016.

Three detained Russian fans were given jail sentences of up to two years over the violence at the England match in Marseille. Six England fans were jailed for up to six months.

Russia was also fined and handed a suspended disqualification, meaning the team would be thrown out of the Euro tournament if their fans caused more trouble inside stadiums.

The arrest of fans angered the Russian government, which summoned the French ambassador to protest.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The result left Russia fans feeling deflated

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