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UEFA threatens England, Russia with disqualification

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PARIS: England and Russia have been threatened with expulsion from Euro 2016 if there is further violence by their fans.

Expressing its “utter disgust” over three days of disorder in Marseille, European football’s governing body UEFA told the English and Russian federations on Sunday “to appeal to their supporters to behave in a responsible and respectful manner” at the tournament in France.

Only Russia are facing immediate UEFA disciplinary proceedings after its fans attacked English rivals inside the Stade Velodrome after their first match in Group B, which ended 1-1.

But English fans were at the heart of days of mayhem in Marseille’s Old Port district, which also involved French and Russian fans.

“The UEFA Executive Committee has warned both football associations that — irrespective of any decisions taken by the independent disciplinary bodies relating to incidents inside the stadium — it will not hesitate to impose additional sanctions …including the potential disqualification of their respective teams from the tournament, should such violence occur again,” UEFA said in a statement.

Russia was charged with crowd disturbances, racist behaviour and letting off fireworks. The result of the inquiry and sanctions are to be announced on Tuesday.

Russia’s next game is in Lille, northern France, on Wednesday against Slovakia. England’s next Group ‘B’ game against Wales in nearby Lens on Thursday has been classed as a high-risk game by the French authorities.

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