WARSAW: UEFA president Michel Platini urged fans attending the decisive matches in Group A to “conduct themselves with dignity and respect” in the hope of avoiding the scuffling which led to more than 180 arrests before last weeks game between Poland and Russia.

Platini, for whom the award of the finals to Poland and Ukraine was a first major decision after his eletion in 2007, said: “Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine has so far been a celebration of the game of football, both on and off the pitch. It has been a festival of goals, entertainment, excitement and pride for both fans and players alike: 16 nations coming together over three weeks to compete for the crown of best team in Europe.

“Of course, there is rivalry and passion, and all teams want to win – but we must remember that the results on the pitch are what really matter.

“I appeal therefore to all fans that are going to Warsaw or Wroclaw tonight as we prepare for the deciding matches in Group A to conduct themselves with dignity and respect, and to behave themselves this evening at the stadiums and in the cities.

“Euro 2012 is a celebration of football and I invite the fans, the vast majority of whom have conducted themselves in an exemplary manner so far, to continue to do so for the remainder of the tournament.”

Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk was given a mild ticking off by Russian President Vladimir Putin after it emerged that most of last week’s arrested hooligans were Polish. They had been provoked by a street march of Russian fans on what was, coincidentally, Russia’s official Independence Day.

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