MOSCOW/WARSAW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly reminded Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland’s security responsibilities as leader of a country co-hosting a major sports event.
His comments followed clashes between followers of both teams on Tuesday in Warsaw before a 1-1 draw.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said: “The Russian president expressed concern over the situation with Russian fans . . . Putin underlined that he considered the organizers of similar international tournaments are in charge of ensuring foreign football fans’ safety.”
Some 184 people, 156 of them Poles, were arrested over clashes provoked by a fans’ march by Russians supporters between the fan zone into the centre of Warsaw and the National Stadiumm.
Peskov said that the telecon between Putin and Tusk also concerned issues including Russian-Polish relations such as energy and trade cooperation.
Poland’s Sports Minister Joanna Mucha has said she was disappointed by the lenient sentences handed by courts out to trouble-makers. Two men were sentenced to to three and five months in jail, while four others received suspended jail terms of up to 12 months and one a $150 fine.
Mucha said: “We cannot influence the justice system. But in my opinion the punishment should be more severe. It’s important to create an atmosphere where there’s no permission for these kinds of situations.”
The Polishj authorities expects 20,000 Russian fans to arrive in Warsaw with tickets for the final Group A match with Greece on Saturday, twice the number who came to the game with Poland on Tuesday.
Mucha said: “We are doing everything to assure a really high level of safety and prevent any incidents of this kind again.”
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