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184 Arrested in Poland During Euro 2012 Violence

  • VOA News

Plain clothes police officers arrest a soccer fan during clashes before the Poland and Russia Group A Euro 2012 soccer match in Warsaw, June 12, 2012.

Plain clothes police officers arrest a soccer fan during clashes before the Poland and Russia Group A Euro 2012 soccer match in Warsaw, June 12, 2012.

Polish police have detained 184 people involved in clashes between Russians and Poles before and during their match at the 2012 Euro Football (soccer) championship in Warsaw.

The first clashes took place Tuesday during a march by thousands of Russian fans to National Stadium for "Russia Day," which marks the fall of the Soviet Union. Violent incidents also occurred during the game, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Officials said more than 150 Poles and 24 Russians were among those arrested.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Poland's sports minister, Joanna Mucha, said the incident left her "ashamed" and disgusted." She said the people involved were "hooligans," not fans.

Polish Interior Minister Jacek Cichocki said there will be "fast track" criminal procedures with the foreign nationals detained so sentences can be issued within two days and they can be expelled from the country.

During the march, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to subdue the clashes. Officials say 10 police officers were injured.

A Russian human rights official, Mikhail Fedotov, told Russia's Interfax news agency he plans to discuss the clashes with Polish officials on Wednesday.

Poland and Russia hold bitter feelings toward each other stemming from the occupation of Poland after World War Two.

Poland and Ukraine are co-hosting the 16-nation Euro 2012 championship, which will be decided on July 1 in Kyiv.
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