Russia fans' flare in defeat to Slovakia unlikely to cause Euro 2016 expulsion
Russia supporters who lit a flare in the 2-1 defeat to Slovakia in Lille on Wednesday are unlikely to have endangered their side's participation in Euro 2016.
A UEFA spokesman told New York Times journalist Sam Bowden that the flare "counts as a use of fireworks, not as crowd disturbances."
Spokesman for @UEFA tells me that flare "counts as a use of fireworks, not as crowd disturbances." Presumably, that means Russia is safe.- Sam Borden (@SamBorden) June 15, 2016
Speaking after the match, Russia coach Leonid Slutsky said: "I was totally concentrated on the game, and was only looking at the pitch. I didn't see it."
UEFA gave Russia a suspended disqualification following crowd trouble at the Group B game against 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.
UFA said the suspension meant any more disorder from fans inside the stadium would see the team kicked out of the tournament.
Sports minister Vitaly Mutko told R-Sport in quotes reported by Sport Express after the Slovakia match: "What can I do? Should I check the fans personally?
"We will personally thank the guy who lit the firecracker for such support when he returns to Russia. What a person can you be if you light a firecracker after a final warning has been issued?
"I don't want to use strong words, but who is that? Does he have any dignity? Any honesty?
"The lads are fighting on the pitch, trying to save the game, and that is how he 'supports' the team."
Hundreds of Russia fans appeared to attack their English counterparts at the end of the match at the Stade Velodrome, and UEFA charged the RFU, but not the English Football Association, over the incident.
The RFU was also fined €150,000 over the crowd disturbances after UEFA's control, ethics and disciplinary body met in Paris to consider the case.
The sanctions were outlined in a statement by the body, in which it confirmed "a suspended disqualification of the Russian national team from UEFA Euro 2016 for the crowd disturbances."
It added: "Such suspension will be lifted if incidents of a similar nature (crowd disturbances) happen inside the stadium at any of the remaining matches of the Russian team during the tournament."
The decision only relates to incidents that occurred inside the stadium and are therefore under the jurisdiction of the UEFA disciplinary bodies, and it is open to appeal.
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