Russia say they will avoid ‘injustice’ of being kicked out

Euro 2016: Artem Dzyuba has hit out at the British media. ‘You have to be objective’

Russian fans during the England game last weekend. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Russian fans during the England game last weekend. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

 

Russia coach Leonid Slutsky is confident his country will not suffer the “injustice” of being kicked out of Euro 2016.

Uefa has handed Russia a suspended disqualification following the crowd trouble which marred the Group B game with England on Saturday.

The Russian Football Union (RFU) was charged in relation to offences of crowd disturbances, use of fireworks and racist behaviour inside the Stade Velodrome.

The sanction means any more disorder from their fans will see Russia sent home from France in disgrace.

But in a tetchy press conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Slovakia, Slutsky insisted: “We are sure we are not going to be kicked out. There will not be any injustice.”

And striker Artem Dzyuba went further, criticising the British media for its interpretation of events and claiming the ugly scenes were as much the fault of England’s fans as Russia’s.

“I don’t really understand the reaction of the British media, who have this impression England supporters are like angels who just behave themselves,” said Dzyuba.

“You have to be objective, there is 50-50 in every conflict. I don’t see that the Russians are the only ones at fault.”

When asked for his thoughts, Slutsky merely said: “I agree with my player, I don’t have anything to add.”

Their view goes against the video evidence from the Stade Velodrome, where hundreds of Russian fans appeared to attack English supporters, as well as the fact Uefa charged the RFU but not the FA.

But Dzyuba added: “We saw videos and there was some aggression but we only see fragments.

“We don’t want politics in football. Before the game against Slovakia we are not talking about football.

“This is not a street fighting championship, it’s the European football championship. We don’t want things to be presented that there is a group of people trying to fight. Not only English and Russians, but other fans too. Please, let’s focus on football.

“We don’t want to be disqualified for this situation. It’s the 20th century. Our supporters have to focus on supporting us and we have to show our best qualities.

“We want to be here and it would be a stupid thing and a big disappointment for the whole country if we go out.”

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