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Russian fan faces five-year term for image-damaging firework row

Published time: June 19, 2012 15:37
Edited time: June 19, 2012 19:37
Fans of Croatia's national football team react as smoke billows from a grenade during the Euro 2012 football championships match Croatia vs Spain on June 18, 2012 at the Gdansk Arena (AFP Photo / Pierre-Philippe Marcou)

Fans of Croatia's national football team react as smoke billows from a grenade during the Euro 2012 football championships match Croatia vs Spain on June 18, 2012 at the Gdansk Arena (AFP Photo / Pierre-Philippe Marcou)

The Russian football fan who threw fireworks into Croatian stands during a Euro 2012 match, may spend up to five years in prison.

­The incident occurred during the Croatian 1-0 loss to Spain in Gdansk, Poland in the group stages on June 18.

The fireworks were thrown from the upper level of the stadium, but didn’t reach the football pitch, landing on the heads of spectators.

The match watch was stopped and went on only after the fire brigade coped with the flames.  

No injuries among Croatian fans were reported.

The perpetrator was detained by local police. He’s claimed to be a 36-year-old Russian citizen, whose identity isn’t revealed.

According to the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation, ten of the country’s football fans currently remain in custody in Poland.

Fireworks thrown onto the pitch, racist chants and violent clashes with local hooligans and unarmed stewards are among the “achievements” of Russian fans at Euro 2012.

Their behavior may cost the country’s football dear, as the Russian Football Union has already been fined €120,000 by UEFA, while the national team got a suspended six-point deduction for Euro 2016 qualification.  

The country’s football bosses plan to appeal against the sanctions, but given the recent event they have little chance of success.

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