Poland fans at Euro 2012. Photo credit: Poland MFA http://flic.kr/p/ce5JJq
Joint host nation Poland’s pulsating 1-1 with Russia was one of the Euro 2012 tournament highlights so far. At half-time, Poland were one goal down to an Alan Dzagoev header and looked likely to suffer a heavy defeat. However, the plucky Poles rallied heroically in the second half. Captain Jakub Blaszczykowski scored a screamer to equalise and it was Poland not Russia who went closer to winning the game. The draw means Russia have one foot in the quarter-finals and Poland know a victory over and up-and-down Czech Republic will be enough to see them qualify.
Unfortunately, the thoroughly entertaining game was somewhat overshadowed by some pretty serious clashes between rival gangs of hooligans. The trouble was reportedly sparked by a Russian fans’ march through Warsaw before the game to mark Russia’s 12 June national day.
“Feelings had been expected to run high ahead of the Russia-Poland game … because of a long history of bad blood between the countries. Both nations have also struggled to deal with hardcore, violent football fans,” reported CNN.
At least 11 people were injured in clashes in Warsaw between Russian and Polish fans before and after the game, 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. More arrests were expected as police check surveillance footage to identify ring-leaders taking part in the disorder in the Polish capital, the statement said.
The (shocking) videos
Masked hooligans causing mayhem:
Hooligans fighting pitched battles:
Police fire rubber bullets in an attempt to subdue the trouble-makers:
Violent scenes on then streets of Warsaw:
Polish fan found unconscious on the floor during Russian march:
Russia Today footage of the fighting: