England fans were forced to flee..

Russian 'ultras' used firework to signal attack on England fans

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Prior to the start of Euro 2016, the focus from both the media and the French police was rightly on the threat from Islamic militants, but just two days after the start of the tournament, another kind of terrorism has stolen the headlines.

Disturbing images of blood-soaked fans are spread across Europe's biggest newspapers this Sunday after central Marseille became a battleground. Violent clashes between traveling fans from both England and Russia saw at least two fans left in a critical condition. The violence continued in the Stade Velodrome.

Following the final whistle, a distinct lack of policeman and stewards allowed Russian fans to storm sections occupied by largely peaceful England supporters, who were either forced to flee or face the prospect of serious harm.


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It marred an otherwise exciting encounter that saw Russia grab an unlikely equalizer in the very last moments of the game. But regardless of the result, it seems a small group of so-called 'Russian ultras' was intent on wreaking terror on their counterparts.

Indeed, in the closing moments of the game, a huge bang was heard inside the stadium. It silenced the crowd, who rightly feared a repeat of the tragic scenes from the Stade de France in November when three suicide bombers attempted to gain access to the stadium before blowing themselves up outside.

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A signal

Fortunately, the loud bang was nothing more than a firework, but the reason it was ignited appears to have been for a disgraceful reason. The Sun journalist Charlie Wyett revealed on Twitter that the firework was lit to act as a signal for Russian fans to start attacking.

He wrote on Twitter: "The firework let off at end was the signal for Russian ultras to overpower tiny number of stewards to get into other section. Disgraceful."

UEFA investigation

In such a delicate situation, using something explosive like a firework shows that Russian fans are clearly unconcerned with the gravity of the situation in a country still in an official state of emergency.

UEFA have moved quickly to announce that they are investigating violence from Russian supporters and will make a decision on Tuesday. The severest of punishments could be elimination from the competition although a reprimand is, unfortunately, most likely.

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Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard
Euro 2016
England Football
John Terry

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