ALL the focus was on “England”. “England fans”. What the world was witnessing in Marseille was England and England fans. Not men and women, sons and daughters. Not people.
Let the country down.
Emotive, isn’t it? Easy to get angry about. These dickheads, going over there, representing our country, tarnishing our name. A collective feral mass. Animals.
Media — mainstream and social — jumped on the opportunity to use these labels. It dehumanises the people that have gone over to enjoy themselves. To watch football. To eat, drink and be merry. To spend time with friends and family watching the sport they love.
But forget them, it’s easier to talk about the above. So easy to look at selected pictures that feed a stereotype and watch video clips (some not even from this year, never mind this tournament) and start generalising about cause and effect. There’s been loads of it. Most of it initially blaming England fans. All of them.
Should you dare to discuss anything but “yobs” you’re defending the indefensible. Rationalising thuggery. You’ve lost your marbles, apparently.
For someone who goes to football matches on a regular basis, it’s been thoroughly depressing.
On Friday, I turned on Radio Four first thing in the morning. It’s not my usual choice to be honest. But, as much as I like him, I’d decided Shaun Keaveny on Radio Six wasn’t going to help inform on the Euro debate.
Instead of referendum talk, I got Alan Shearer. Not Alan Shearer talking football matches, which he is qualified to talk about. But Alan Shearer talking football fans, which I’d argue he’s not. He repeatedly used the word “yobs” as he reacted to news that there had been trouble overnight in Marseille. England. England and yobs. It’s always the same. It’s very sad.
I’m paraphrasing, but this was about the size of it. How many more think like that without a care for the situation? The French police perhaps? Perhaps someone could have asked them. Because what’s the point in Shearer?
He wasn’t in Marseille, he didn’t see what happened. He had no idea of who started what, when and why, nor could he offer any views on the policing. He has no insight into football supporter culture. Or, for that matter, hooligan culture. Any thoughts on Marseille fans, Alan? The city itself and its reputation? Or on the Russian ultras, Alan? How about the actual England fans, Alan, rather than the “yobs”? How many of the estimated 40,000 over there were involved in the skirmishes you gladly discussed without research? How many were aggressors in the situations referenced? How many were minding their own business and were caught up in the indiscriminate use of tear gas or the cowardly attacks of ultras bent on violence?
From the age of 15, Shearer was on the books of a professional football club. Twenty years later he hung his boots up as a multi-millionaire, briefly tried his hand at management and moved into punditry.
How many times has he travelled abroad on a budget airline to watch the club, or the country, he loves play football? How many times has been treated like a criminal simply for attending a football match? Has he been denied basic rights, like going the toilet? Has he been goaded and insulted by men in uniform? Has he been denied freedom of movement? Has he been forced to walk long distances to a football match accompanied by police on horseback? Plenty of football fans have. Including me.
Shearer was just regurgitating clichés, but he wasn’t the only one. Gary Lineker did the same. Sweeping statements galore. As I type, a panel are discussing the headlines on Sky News. None of them have set foot in France the last few days. The anchorman is saying things like, “Well, Wales fans were drinking all day and there was no trouble before their game so maybe there is something in that.”
Maybe there is. Wales are in Bordeaux. They played Slovakia. England are in Marseille and they played Russia. Entirely different situations.
I don’t for a minute think everyone that goes to England game is an angel, far from it. I don’t think everyone that goes to any football game is an angel. We can all pretend that in the bubble of our clubs these things don’t go on but that’s all we’re doing. Pretending. Anyone who has followed their team home and away over any prolonged period will have witnessed some form of hooliganism or some form of crime; whether it be fights, theft, bunking in…take your pick, it happens. All the time? No. The majority of people attending the game? Never.
At one European away I went to, I witnessed “Liverpool fans” involved in organised violence. Before the same game, other “Liverpool fans” were indiscriminately attacked by hooligans from Europe that had converged on the fixture for a fight. Are all these Liverpool fans described the same? No. Some deserved condemnation. Others were caught up in the crossfire.
RT @FabrizioRomano: A father who has to ask 'stop' to come out from the stadium during the clashes, #ENGRUS. pic.twitter.com/f0QHtNTtbb
— Jo Loves Adventure!! (@Jolovsadventure) June 11, 2016
By the same measure then, what it is “an England fan”? There’s been talk for three days of England fans doing this, England fans doing that. The thousands that have travelled and done absolutely nothing wrong are not the story, though. They’re just collateral in the charge to write 70-point headlines to sell papers. To get clicks.
The well behaved don’t make good mobile phone footage, either. They won’t get retweeted for evermore. They don’t attract the snappers charged with documenting trouble or make the notebooks of those searching for a story.
Unless you are out there, and out there in numbers, how can you truly tell the tale of what went on in Marseille? There’s plenty of footage across three days but what are we really watching? Thirty, 40, 50, people fighting at different locations? Who are they? Where are they from? How often do they watch football?
Some Russians charging in the ground. Others wearing MMA gloves and gum-shields outside. Are all Russians like this? Bottles thrown on the streets. Who by?
None of it’s a pleasant watch, and those on the ground who have travelled regularly suggest it is among the worst trouble for many years. But nevertheless, news by its nature will seek out the very worst of the situation. If you look for trouble or anti-social behaviour hard enough at any game you will find it. But the same can be said for a Saturday night out in any major British city.
As time has moved on since the first trouble on Friday, so have the reporting and the opinions expressed online. Now, into Sunday, there are rightly questions being asked of the police, of the city of Marseille, of UEFA and of the Russians. “England fans” have undoubtedly played a part in all this but when the blame game began there was little desire to look beyond “our” hooligans.
Simply watching the news the last few days has told its own story — and a different one from the headlines. On Friday night, “England fans” had set a bar on fire. After doing so — it seemed — the “yobs” involved then triumphantly threw missiles from the blazing backdrop to anyone who approached.
It was appalling, they said. Shocking. England should be banned, some said. All the words and phrases you would expect to be attached to this incident whizzed around cyber space within seconds. And all without establishing any actual facts.
But we can see what we can see, right? The camera doesn’t lie, right?
Well, no. Wrong. Because it’s viewed through a prism of bias. One which in so many quarters skips past judge, jury and executioner when a football fan is involved.
To Sky Sports’ credit, on Saturday morning they sent a reporter to the bar that was “on fire”. There was no fire. No fire damage. And while the barmaid seemed a little shaken, she confirmed nobody had been hurt in the previous night’s incident. The truth then, was a flare was thrown at fans in the bar. That provided the “flaming” backdrop beamed around the world and shared online. The fans on the receiving end had reacted to the flare, providing the moment deemed to be “yobs” indiscriminately attacking whoever dared pass by.
So what of the other images we’ve seen? What is their story? The chairs and tables being thrown. The unpalatable songs. The punches thrown and the bottles lashed. Again, all that clearly happened. But what is the context? What is the “truth”?
Of the tens of thousands from England in the city, how many engaged in this kind of behaviour? How many ran the other way scared and looked for refuge?
Could it be that the heavy-handed tactics of the French police had an impact on the mood?
Geoff Pearson, a senior lecturer in criminal law at the University of Manchester, who was a huge help to us with our Heysel coverage and has studied and written on the behaviour of football fans and advised on the policing of crowds, thought so.
He told The Guardian: “It was the most predictable violence that I’ve seen since 2007 with Manchester United fans in Roma. I was on the quayside outside the Old Vic pub when the trouble started.
“There was an initial fracas between English fans and locals over tickets at around midnight. There was then the first use of pepper spray or teargas by the police.
“Then a group of what English fans were calling Marseille ultras, but I suspect were just local gangs, turned up. There was a small confrontation. I could see two or three chairs being thrown, someone tried to tip over a table and bottles were being thrown. There was then a completely disproportionate police response.
“I met an England fan who had been hit by a baton round, and actually had it in his hand. The disturbance then went down a side alley from the quayside to the main square. That’s where most of the footage of the trouble has come from.”
Police can interact and involve themselves with crowds, identify troublemakers early and prevent problems, or they can stand off, tooled up to the nines, dressed in riot gear and react with force when a flashpoint develops. The French went for the latter by all accounts.
Over the last 48 hours it's been the worst I have witnessed. And that includes Marseille 1998 and Charleroi 2000.
— Geoff Pearson (@Geoff_Pearson) June 12, 2016
And how about the Russian ultras, some of whom had issued threats online in advance, or Marseille’s lunatic fringe (they are routinely referred to as France’s “wildest” club)?
None of this is to deflect blame from the dickheads that follow England. They exist. They are racist. They aren’t shy if trouble ensues. But they don’t reflect the behaviour of football fans at large, despite the clamour to talk of just that.
There is context. There are facts. So instead of the tabloid charge to tarnish every person that left England for France in the past few days, how about wider reference of them? Why not speak to Russians? To French? Why not speak to experts in the policing of crowds like Geoff Pearson?
The easy win is to blame “England”. To blame “fans”. And what’s depressing is that some of the people doing so claim to support Liverpool. Everyone is different and everyone has their own view, but anyone claiming to be a Red should surely know all about how dangerous and damaging it is to stereotype about the behaviour of all fans in any given situation.
The pissed up dope throwing bottles is easy to condemn but why are the dad and lad who just wanted to watch the game lumped in?
Reports say Marseille was the first time water cannons were used at an England game in 16 years.
Others have pointed out that despite the perceived reputation incidents such as this involving England fans are much less frequent than is being suggested.
Serious flashpoints involving England supporters in last 20 years? Belgium 2000 (no issues over border in Holland btw) &, er, Marseille '98
— James Corbett (@james_corbett) June 11, 2016
At any major football match, fans will drink, fans will sing, fans will be boisterous, and some fans will take things too far. Plenty of England fans could and should look in the mirror and ask themselves questions about their actions over the last few days. Ditto some Russian fans, some Marseille locals, some French police and UEFA, whose management of a stadium and match is yet again in question.
It’s fine to have a conversation about this without talking about the 1980s and “the English disease”. It’s fine to highlight facts, point to context and question the actions of authorities. None of it excuses dickheads. But there are always dickheads. And other cities, other police forces and other grounds have managed to manage the dickheads just fine.
No one wants a return to the 1980s in terms of football violence. We don’t want a return to the 1980s in terms of how football fans are perceived, either. Because for the millions who go to watch football every weekend, the perception is more important than the reality. We’re not thugs. We’re not hooligans. We just like football. And watching football is not a crime.
How true. But headlines sell papers and airtime.
While all fans cannot be tarred with the same brush, trouble does consistently happen where English fans go.
Two incidents in 18 years is hardly “consistent”, is it?
I can’t remember any incidents on the scale of ’98 and 2000 with England in Portugal ’04, Germany ’06, Japan & Korea ’02, South Africa ’10, Poland & Ukraine ’12, Brazil ’14.
They seem to be rare enough to me (a Republic of Ireland supporter btw, I don’t have a dog in this fight) to make the description of ‘consistent’ troublemakers at tournaments seem a bit over the top.
As long as it’s not on that scale then.
There was looooads of trouble involving England (and others) in 2006. For some reason this was largely covered up, perhaps because this was easier to do pre social media and it went against the prevailing narrative of the tournament.
But there’s a 7 or 9 part documentary on utube that tells much of the story if you want to research.
Thankfully England didn’t qualify in 2008, and the 2002, 2010, 2014 world cups and to some extent Euro 2012 were perhaps too far for en masse travel.
But when the tournament is close – France 98, Belgium 2000, Germany 2006, France 2012 there is a clear and consistent pattern, lets not try to hide it.
There has been a rise in extremism across Europe politically which I think is coming out in this tournament. Just because England are no longer the ‘best’ at hooliganism does not mean that the motives and behavior remain.
It’s an absolute shame that people like Shearer get to drive the mainstream narrative on issues such as these, and their non intelligent incendiary language gives the chattering classes room to damn us all as ‘it’s one of them saying it’.
MOTD wouldnt know what to do with someone like you who can present a piece of passionate yet considered writing/discussion on what is a very emotive subject. But the nail on the head again Gareth and I just hope that no other dads have to beg an opposing fan so they won’t hit their lads. And whilst we are at it, why isn’t Shearer using his airtime to DEMAND an investigation into UEFA who appear yet again to have dropped a massive bollock
The problem with many media channels, it’s all click bait and sensationalism, and ‘Yob England’ fans seems to be a tasty thing to paint. I am not there, but from where I’m standing, it feels as though we have a few English idiots out there, but in the main there are more idiots from Russia, many of whom have shown themselves to be extremely violent, and a few local gangs, most likely attached to Marseilles dodgy fan base, and the stadium scenes last night were a disgrace. I fear for Thursday’s game, where Russia play 25 miles up the road…
Trouble may follow England fans but we never get to see the England fans being attacked either, all we get to see is the reaction of said fans and everyone is always quick to blame England. I think everyone always wants to blame the English because I feel other nations are jealous of our life style, these nations want to live in our great country but then want to shoot us down for the way we live. I just think that other nations always are quick to condemn us because we are England and everything associated with us.
“I think everyone always wants to blame the English because I feel other nations are jealous of our life style, these nations want to live in our great country but then want to shoot us down for the way we live”
Spencer, hubristic comments like this don’t help the case. As someone who left the UK and has lived abroad for almost 20 years, I can assure you that England is not the centre of civilization.
Well done, Robbo. For someone who wasn’t in Marseille, it’s difficult to say for sure how and why this happened. Judging from the reports I’ve seen, the hardcore Russian hooligans are mainly responsible for the violence.
These guys aren’t your ordinary dickheads who will fight back when trouble is started around the game. Many have military background or belong to some kind of martial arts community. They come looking for violence and will cause trouble no matter who they encounter on and around the stadiums.
Of course, far from all Russian fans belong to this group, but more than enough to become a serious issue. Especially when mixed with a large amount of English fans of the variety that won’t shy away from a fight.
As for the police, they probably could have handled the situation a lot better. But on the other hand, they can hardly be blamed for causing the trouble in the first place.
Mostly I feel sorry for all the innocent bystanders and non-violent football fans being mixed in with the criminals.
Headline: Majority of England fans peacefully sit off in a bar enjoying themselves whilst fighting ensues elsewhere.
How’s that a story? Right or wrong the story of the last few days is England’s right wing thugs are doing what they always do but this time they’ve met their match. Why this clamour in media circles to exonerate these thugs?
I ‘get’ what has appeared to be a blanket TAW view that football fans get the poorly treated. That’s fact. It just seems slightly unjustified in this case. In the Paris bombing, the news wasn’t full of stories about Muslims getting on with their daily business. It focused on the thugs / murderers as would be expected. England has this element of thuggery. As stated in the article, no ones talking about the police in Bordeaux or Paris at other games. No one is tarring all Wales fans as thugs or Romania’s. The fact is, England, Russia and local Marseilles thugs deserve this tag. They’re all guilty. And, what’s all this revulsion that Liverpool fans are criticising them? The reason is, we don’t feel like England are our team because they have a following of right wing, racist dickheads that follow them and show disrespect wherever they go. They also have a bunch of really nice people following them but they don’t set the image of Englands fans. This isn’t about well behaved football fans enjoying the tournament. This is about the minority who ruin it for everyone.
This article aside, I’ve found Twitter unpalatable today. Football hooligans from across Britain crying that the Russian’s steamed into them and out numbered them. England fans have been doing this for time. Only this time instead of coming across stoned Dutch and Belgium fans with no desire to fight they’ve come across right wing Russian hard men.
I know over a hundred hooligans young and old. They’ve been planning this Marseilles trip for months. They knew they were going to fight with Russians and the local Arabs (as the North Africans are called in France). I’ve been reading their comments for months. The thing is though, hooliganism is on it’s last legs in England. CCTV, banning orders and harsh penalties have seen to that. Conversely, being part of a hooligan group is on the rise again. They just don’t fight much. So, you’ve got 50 year old balding fat men who haven’t found an identity outside of the days in the 80’s and young lads who’ve never had a fight. The ones I know are not hard lads. Far from it. They’re sad little fuckers but actually, they’re nice lads too. They just have warped views. They were there singing their right wing songs, the same as they did on past EDL marches. They gathered like they always did, taunted the locals like they always do and threw bottles like they always do. This time though, the police didn’t take any shit and the Russians were more game and more organised. They arrived out of the blue, no bouncing, no bravado and battered the English. So everyone’s crying ‘foul’. Why? Because they lost for once?
I’ve had many dealings with French police. On the whole, they’re extremely fair and I’ve always told people of their mentality. Act respectfully and you’ll be ok. I’ve been searched and they’ve found weed and other things but they’ve ignored it many times because that was my only crime. It’s not being a bad citizen. Kick off on them and you’ll be sorry. To put it in perspective, they have 4 police forces. Municipal (local), Nationale (like our police), Gendarmerie (military police with civilian duties) and CRS (riot police). The CRS travel in convey and you don’t see them in less than a convey of 10 vehicles. They don’t involve themselves in day to day policing. If there’s the potential for a riot they’re there and they once provoked they immediately step in.
I don’t have to be there to see what happened, social media has changed the way we see/hear news. If you’re bouncing, taunting and throwing bottles then you’re asking for confrontation. Yes, it’s very unfortunate and wrong that innocents were caught up but then, anyone with any sense has to move away from these hooligan types. It’s unfair on the decent fans but it’s a consequence of going to England games. John Gibbons knows that and did exactly that. Ok, he was caught up in tear gas whilst retreating which is unfortunate but it’s not that bad, just a bit irritating for 20 minutes (and yes I have been tear gassed). I’ve also been held in a headlock and CS gassed for 20 seconds which left me with burns and what felt like close to death. Point being, I’ve seen the comments and I feel it’s equally sanctimonious to say you can’t form a view if you weren’t there. The people there can only be in one place at a time in the same way someone at the match often knows less about the key incidents than someone sat in their living room watching it.
So, the point I’d make on the police is, it’s my opinion they’re not as petty as English police with football crowds. The CRS stand off in their riot gear and give the benefit of the doubt. Once they feel lines have been crossed they act and they act aggressively. They’re trained to stop rioting. The approach they’ve taken is to disperse the crowds. I’d guess because they know they’re all fanny’s on their own without their mates.
Overall, a minority of England fans went over for it. They taunted Russians for months. They got done in and now they’re crying for sympathy that they don’t like it. Despite what the press says, everyone knows this refers to a hardcore element who are into this type of thing and the majority just want to go for the football. But, people’s energy needs to put into stopping them not defending the image of England supporters because whilst these thugs are following England they’ll never lose the tag they have. That’s human nature. Yes, it was only songs, only bouncing, only the odd bottle being thrown, blah, blah, blah but we know what follows. Ask John if he was doing any of those things. England fans are a disgrace, have always been a disgrace and will continue to be whilst these right wing thugs are following them (and for the record will be a disgrace on Thursday). The fact that Russians are perhaps more of a disgrace and local youths in France no better doesn’t make England fans any better.
Brilliantly put, Robin.
I lived in France for 20 years, attended numerous PSG games when they were racked by hooligan problems, and can vouch for your description of how the CRS will act.
The last time I went to an England game was a ‘friendly’ against France in Paris around 16 years ago. Never again. The behaviour of the English ‘fans’ on the metro to the game had to be seen to be believed. Abusing innocent passengers, goading young lads into fights, urinating on the train while it was moving… Neanderthal is too tame a word for this scum.
I fully understand the vast majority are not there for trouble but the reputation has been established. As you point out, they more than met their match against the Russians and are crying out that it’was’nt our fault’! Sadly, as often happens in these incidents, it was the innocent fellas who got picked off.
Well, some innocents were undoubtedly caught up but I’ve spent the day watching all the videos. The majority of those battered were hooligans who’ve dished out the same treatment themselves.
What I object to is comparing experiences as a soccer fan in England to the events in France. I’m presuming there was a reference in the article to the coach that wasn’t allowed to stop on the way back from Sunderland. That’s absolute hatred of fans by police in this country. In France they start with an open mind and act reactively. Whether their heavy handed approach inflamed things further doesn’t concern me. The point for me is a line was crossed and when crossed there are consequences in France. I’m not into likening them to the attitude of English police which is abhorrent towards fans. You get a chance in France. That’s how their police are. Fair but firm. Best way to be.
You’re right tho. England suffer from their reputation. Everyone wants to fight them. My point was while there’s been a rise in hooliganism in central and Eastern Europe, Britain is out of touch. Again, I know first hand that English lads saw this as their chance to have an ‘off’ without consequences. But they’re the dregs of the old scene. They met an opponent who looked like agent provocateurs sent by Putin to represent Russia and got smashed. Fair enough but you can’t start complaining they were out of order. England’s lads would have done the same had it been against the local Arabs. You may or may not know that for some reason you rarely meet a hard French Arab. They’re happy to slash but can’t seem to back it up with fists. I’ve had numerous encounters with them for things like groping my missus. In fact I’ve got a long scar across my back from Nice. The Russians were proper hard though and all of sudden it’s ‘our poor boys’, ‘these nasty Russians’ etc.
P.s Pierre. Do you live in Paris? If so which metro / rer. I’ve lived North, South, East and west from Boulogne to bagnolet to clichy to tolbiac.
Lived there for 20 years. In the 16th – near metro Ranelagh – so could walk to the Parc des Princes and went regular from 90 -95 when they had a great team with George Weah etc That was when they had pitched battles between tribune Boulogne [skinhead far right] and Auteuil [ N.African/African immigrants]. Was there when the CRS got ambushed and battered in Boulogne vs Caen around 92.
Moved across the river to more sedate Ecole Militaire area until 2 years ago when I said fuck it to the taxes, strikes, shite mentality and limited economic opportunities for my daughters and moved to the States.
The only place I got in real trouble was Rome ’84 when my Dad and i got jumped and knifed. I said fuck it to Italian grounds from then on.
Have been to Russia and Poland many times and they are the real nutters.
Wow mate, very bourgeois, haha. What a place to live. Right near, Parc des Princes, Roland Garros and Longchamp. So beautiful the Bois de Boulogne
I’ve fond memories of that place. First place I lived in Paris was near Boulogne Pont de Saint Cloud in a disused cinema, haha.
Funnily enough, the second place was near Ecole Militaire. Well, La Motte Picquet Grenelle (sorry, I know Paris like the back of my hand from living all over it but only by Metro stations and not arrondissements as I didn’t speak French for half of the time I was there and learned it based on the Metro). I met a French girl who’s father owned an apartment and strangely the attic was accessed from it’s own door, so we lived in it (didn’t start seeing my current partner till I’d been there 18 months). I used to climb out the skylight and sit in between the chimneys. The view looked right over Paris. Obviously I was right next to the Eiffel and Invalides but I could see up to Montmatre. It was so special. Really happy times. I absolutely love the place. I suppose I wasn’t paying the high taxes though and loved the strikes because it meant walking through new areas which I enjoy. Great stuff mate. I’d give anything to live there again although I wonder if it would be the same as a responsible mid forties adult as an irresponsible child in my early 20’s, haha.
Apologies TAW for the unrelated / personal content. I love the community aspect of the site and finding out a little about the people who comment on here. I arranged to meet Murray who comments on here at Mancs airport for a quick pint on the way to Basel. Dead sound bloke and it can only be a positive thing. Next step is to ask Pierre to put me up for a week in his mansion in the U.S, haha.
Great comments Robin, spot on.
Just because you lose a mass fight doesn’t make you an innocent party, far from it.
The English more than played their part, but the game, or rules (as much as there are any) have changed and, as you say, they’re an aging bunch as it goes back to the 80s for many of them.
I don’t support England. Never will. The English fans are the very antithesis of everything Liverpool stands for.
I am a Liverpool fan – nothing else.
The trouble in France was easy to predict. Why no trouble in South Africa or Japan/South Korea? It is too expensive for the right wing thugs to get to.
I was far more concerned with LFC fans fighting Seville fans at the Europa League final – even if it was only brief.
I have been a Red since 1971. I had the 80’s trip from Rochdale to Liverpool on the train via Manchester and the chasing around Victoria rail station by Mancs.
But England – the fans get what they want – right wing idiots.
It’s a vicious circle.
The crass media reports all over Europe help make England fans a target. I’m abroad now and you can sense the vibes those photos are putting out.
A few people having a pop at me this week, I normally ask why x-country’s fans weren’t voted the best fans at the Korea/ Japan world cup like England’s were. Pretty much the same class of fan across the board enjoying themselves there and the English came out on top and were well respected.
Italy 90 we were sensibly put into camping areas, having a good piss up there, when regularly raided by knife wielding and brick throwing feral Italians.
The lads set light to the bushes to try and keep them out and improvised weapons for self defence, the media made *us* out to be on the rampage showing the ‘arson’ as an example.
Sweden 92, the organisers provided well set-up camping(containment areas) we were well catered for, beer tents, video screens, music, even Swedish Women wanted to visit. A couple of dozen Swedish hooligans had apparently trekked miles to come and attack the camp and were eventually ripped off perimeter fence by the Police. Several of those well built attackers ended up with missiles thrown at their heads whilst they were being handcuffed.
It’s all very well laughing at the thickos getting battered by well built professional looking fighters from Russia (do I sense an air of admiration?) but the nastiest supporters will stop at nothing and they’re not the well-built ones. IIRc the deaths came at the German world cup and fans are also killed in Italy.
Europe’s problem festered when they wrongly thought the cure was banning English clubs after Heysel. If Russian fans carry on I can see someone somewhere eventually producing a firearm.
A difference I notice, is that the european hooligans don’t wear any colours. This was observed in Basel last month.
They may have won the fight but these Russians are surely the worst dressed hooligans in history :)
Very few of England’s so called right wing nutters van even leave the country now
The Russians in the hot pants picked on soft targets and Dad’s n Lads…I may live in Bourton on the Water but my heart will always be in Paree
“So easy to look at selected pictures that feed a stereotype ”
Not like the main pic you chose to accompany this article, then?