Euro 2012: Russia and Poland fans clash in Warsaw

Story highlights

  • 11 people are injured in clashes in Warsaw, Poland's Interior Ministry says
  • 123 people from both sides have been arrested
  • Violence preceded and followed a Euro 2012 soccer game between Russia and Poland
  • Russian fans marched through the city ahead of the game to mark a national day

At least 11 people were injured in clashes Tuesday in Warsaw between Russian and Polish fans before and after a Euro 2012 soccer match, Polish officials said.

Eight of those hurt, one of whom is a policeman, are Poles, two are Russian and one is German, Poland's Interior Ministry said. None of the injuries was life-threatening, medical officials said.

In all, 123 people were arrested, both Russian and Polish fans among them, the ministry said.

UEFA fights racism in football

More arrests were expected as police check surveillance footage to identify "hooligans" taking part in the disorder in the Polish capital, the statement said.

Video showed dozens of men running through the streets, some carrying burning flares.

Euro racists face criminal sanctions
Euro racists face criminal sanctions

    JUST WATCHED

    Euro racists face criminal sanctions

MUST WATCH

Euro racists face criminal sanctions 01:45
Football fans world wide focus on Poland
Football fans world wide focus on Poland

    JUST WATCHED

    Football fans world wide focus on Poland

MUST WATCH

Football fans world wide focus on Poland 03:16
Could this be Holland's year?
Could this be Holland's year?

    JUST WATCHED

    Could this be Holland's year?

MUST WATCH

Could this be Holland's year? 03:50
Former Polish striker condemns racism
Former Polish striker condemns racism

    JUST WATCHED

    Former Polish striker condemns racism

MUST WATCH

Former Polish striker condemns racism 03:09

Russian state-run broadcaster RT reported that police fired warning shots and used water cannon and tear gas as they sought to break up the clashes.

Feelings had been expected to run high ahead of the Russia-Poland game, which ended in a 1-1 draw, because of a long history of bad blood between the countries. Both nations have also struggled to deal with hardcore, violent football fans.

Poland is co-hosting the Euro 2012 football tournament with Ukraine.

Russian fans had organized a march through Warsaw before the game to mark Russia's June 12 national day.

When Poland almost ruled the world

The disorder broke out as about 5,000 Russian fans reached Warsaw's Poniatowski Bridge, on their way to the National Stadium, the Interior Ministry said, with "hooligans" from both sides seeking to start a fight.

"As the crowd entered the Poniatowski Bridge, approximately a hundred pseudo football fans of the two opposing teams have attempted to confront each other," the statement said.

Riot police took "decisive" action to stop it from escalating, the ministry said. Some 6,000 police were on duty Tuesday in Warsaw.

Russian officials had already called for better behavior from the country's supporters after unrest during Friday's opening 4-1 win against the Czech Republic team.

"We believe that some people who were present at the stadium (behaved) unworthy of the true football fans," read a statement on the Russian Football Union's website. "Those who choose the sports arena for the declaration of their personal political and other positions have no place in the stands.

"The Russian Football Union and the national team of Russia kindly request all the fans of these provocative actions to confront bullies and to cooperate fully with the organizers of the match in matters of security," the statement added.

"We appeal to all fans who are in Poland. Remember that you represent your country. Respect yourself, your home and your team."