Russia was punished too harshly by UEFA for crowd disturbances at Euro 2012 that included fans assaulting Polish stewards, Sergei Fursenko, president of the Russian Football Union, said Thursday.
Russia received a six-point suspended points deduction for Euro 2016 qualification while the union was fined €120,000 for crowd disturbances and the use of pyrotechnics at Russia's opening 4-1 win over the Czech Republic.
Video has emerged showing Russian fans assaulting Polish stewards after the game. Four stewards were reportedly hospitalized.
“A very harsh decision came about after the disciplinary committee watched a recording of a steward being beaten,” Fursenko said.
The penalty should have been reduced because fans said that one of the stewards deserved a beating, Fursenko suggested.
“It’s especially harsh after the fans commented that he deserved it.”
Alexander Shprygin, head of the All-Russian Fans’ Union, told R-Sport on Saturday that Russian supporters had given one steward “a kicking” after he had tried to detain a Russia fan in a “heavy-handed” manner.
The steward had tried to detain a nearby fan rather than looking for a supporter who had earlier thrown a flare, Shprygin said.
Fursenko said that the Russian Football Union would try to recover the costs of the fine from the flare-thrower.