A Russian man is now in custody in Marseille over an incident during the Euro 2016. The man is accused of seriously injuring an English football fan. The suspect was arrested in Germany last month but was handed over to French authorities.
Authorities have not released his name but he is facing up to 15 years in jail for attempted homicide. The man who was attacked suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital. Authorities say the man suffered injuries to the brain and lungs.
The incident happened on June 11, 2016, the day when England played Russia in the group stage of the Euro 2016 tournament. Before and after the match, there were several incidents involving England and Russia fans. Reports said at the time that one England supporter was seriously injured after being kicked in the head while another was in critical condition.
The violent clashes during the tournament forced UEFA to warn both teams. A few days after the tournament started, French authorities deported 20 Russia fans for their role in the violent acts seen before and after matches.
The Russian man was detained after an investigation by German and British police that lasted nearly a year and a half. The man was detained at Munich airport last month. He was on his way to Bilbao, Spain for a Europa League match.
The man injured in the attack was placed in an induced coma but is now recovering. Reports said at the time that French police had made over 1,000 football-related arrests since the start of the tournament. 35 people, mostly England fans, were injured in the first few days of the tournament.
Early in the tournament, UEFA warned both teams that they would be kicked out if the violence continued. Both teams were part of Group B, where they played to a 1 – 1 draw in their first match.
The 2018 World Cup will be taking place in Russia and that has sparked fears that there might a repeat of the violence seen at the Euro 2016 tournament. A FIFA spokesperson told Reuters through an email last month that FIFA has complete trust in the security arrangements and comprehensive security from Russian authorities and the organizing committee.
Recent reports say there will only be a few thousand England fans attending the tournament because of fears that there will be more violence. The 2018 World Cup will begin on June 14 and end on July 15, 2018.