The first day of the European Championships was marred by violence. An amateur video has been uploaded to Youtube showing a group of Russian fans attacking match stewards in the aftermath of the Russia – Czech Republic game in Wroclaw on Friday.
The video shows fans ganging up on the stewards – who can be recognized by their luminous safety jackets – outside the stadium, as the crowd streams out of the match. The fans then begin to kick and punch the stewards, who merely shield themselves, and do not hit back. One of the stewards is knocked to the ground and lies motionless for half a minute, as the crowd disperses. He is eventually helped up by his colleagues.
The fight may have broken out after the stewards spotted a fan who threw fireworks onto the pitch during the match, which is prohibited.
The injured stewards were later taken to hospital, but discharged the same night.
“Russian degenerates… They beat up the stewards here, what is going to happen in Warsaw?” wrote the amateur cameraman underneath the video. Russia plays its next group match against Poland in the country's capital.
Police say they have studied the tapes, and have been able to identify twelve of the attackers as Russian, but have not yet published their photos and names.
Information about the brawlers has been made available to policemen across the country and to Russian border guards.
“We need to catch these people as soon as possible, and make them pay for what they have done. If need be, we can start an international search for them,” said Mariusz Sokolowski, the Polish Police spokesman.
Security has also been stepped up around the Russian fan zones throughout the host country.