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Euro 2016

Suspected Russian football hooligans to be deported from France

Russian fans ushered off a bus after being stopped by gendarmes in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, near Marseille
Russian fans ushered off a bus after being stopped by gendarmes in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, near Marseille Reuters/Eric Gaillard

France is to deport several Russian football fans, judged likely to cause trouble at future Euro 2016 matches, officials said Monday. Police were checking the identity of 29 Russians staying at a hotel near Marseille, following the weekend's clashes with England fans in the southern French city. As the French authorities hit ack at criticism of their handling of the violence, Sports Minister Patrick Kanner slammed Russia for letting known hooligans travel to the tournament.

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Police on Tuesday morning swooped on the hotel to check whether 29 Russians staying there were on a list of football supporters considered a risk, Francois-Xavier Lauch, a top local official in the Alpes-Maritimes area, told the AFP news agency.

It had already been decided that some would be placed in a detention centre with a view to being deported, he said.

Sports Minister Kanner slammed Russia for a "regrettable lack of cooperation" in allowing known troublemakers to travel to France for the Euro 2016.

On Monday 10 people - six Britons, three French and an Austrian - were sentenced for their role in the clashes.

Nine of them were jailed and one given a suspended prison sentence.

The heaviest sentence was against a 29-year-old Frenchman, who was jailed for a yare for hitting and kicking three people.

France slams Russia

The authorities' handling of the violence has been criticised in both Britain and Germany, in particular because no Russians were arrested while nearly all the 35 injured were England fans.

France's right-wing opposition joined the chorus on Tuesday with Republicans spokesman Guillaume Larrivé saying their had been "failures" and "malfunctions".

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the controversy was an "unfair polemic", pointing out that 1,000 police had been on the streets and that they had intervened "within an hour".

Marseille public prosecutor Brice Robin said Russian fans, "prepared for ultrarapid and ultraviolent operations", had managed to dodge surveillance by flying into Marseille.

Lyon and Marseille on Monday banned sales of alcohol to take away near stadiums and fan zones and Marseille was expected to follow suit and is to put off events for France's annual music festival in the city on 21 June when Ukraine is to play Poland.

Russia's next match is against Slovakia in the northern town of Lille and England's against Wales in nearby Lens.

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