FOUR STEWARDS WERE attacked by Russian football supporters after the country’s 4-1 win against the Czech Republic, police in Wroclaw, western Poland, said on Saturday.
An amateur video (below) appears to show a group of supporters punching and kicking the volunteers, who were wearing the distinctive green tabards and positioned in the stadium for the tie on Friday.
“Four people were hospitalised for a short time following this incident,” Wroclaw police spokesman Pawel Petrykowski confirmed. “We are trying to identify their attackers.”
Just before the same match, police arrested four Russian supporters who had allegedly started a bar brawl in Wroclaw old town. Petrykowski said the four were drunk and had been questioned about the incident.
Warsaw mayor’s office last week gave the go-ahead for Russian fans to march in the capital on their national day on Tuesday, which also happens to be the day when their team plays Poland in the capital.
The decision came amid speculation that clashes might erupt between the countries’ fans during the 16-nation, quadrennial football showcase, which is being co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine in June.
YouTube credit: Europeancup2012
Poland and Russia have long had a fraught relationship, mired in centuries of conflict, and President Vladimir Putin’s present-day Russia elicits aversion from many Poles.
This tension, along with a reputation for violent fans in both nations, has fuelled speculation of possible unrest on the sidelines of the tournament.