Will Racism & Violence Derail Euro’s?
By: Henry Whitfield
After just two days of football at the European Championships in Ukraine & Poland, the beautiful game has been marred by off-field antics and unruly behaviour.
The Dutch National team revealed they were victims of abuse during their training sessions and now fresh video has been released showing stewards being attacked after Russia’s 4 – 1 win over the Czech Republic.
The video clearly shows a number of stewards being attacked, reportedly after trying to investigate the release of firecrackers onto the pitch after the game, and were met with violence.
The official UEFA statement followed with “a brief and isolated incident involving a small group of around 30 fans who attacked a handful of stewards. The situation was quickly and efficiently brought under control.”
While it was indeed brief, the incident begs the question about what is in store for the next few weeks. If this is how fans will act after a decisive win, what could happen if they were to lose just as comprehensively?
BBC Panorama produced an insightful program in Stadiums of Hate, which documented these very very issues, and while they were accused of exaggerating the truth it appears that UEFA will be forced into action more than once over the next few weeks.
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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , he’ll be bringing daily updates throughout the entire European Championships.