Violent behavior of Polish football fans tarnishes the country’s image and spoils the festive atmosphere of the Euro 2012 championship, Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski said.
A march by thousands of Russian fans ahead of a Euro-2012 football championship game between Poland and Russia, which ended with a 1-1 draw, came under attack by masked hooligans on Tuesday.
Police detained 184 people, 156 of them Poles, 25 Russians, and three other foreign fans.
“Instead of being excited about the success, which the draw against the Russian team certainly is, people are mostly talking about the scandal [over fan clashes], which tarnishes Poland’s image abroad,” Komorowski said in an interview with TVN24 television on Thursday.
“Violence, brawls, hooliganism in general, spoil the atmosphere of this wonderful event,” the president said.
At the same time, the Polish leader criticized the behavior of Russian fans in Wroclaw following their team’s 4-1 thrashing of the Czech Republic on Friday and urged harsher punishment for football hooligans.
Russia received a six-point suspended points deduction for Euro 2016 qualification while the Russian Football Union was fined 120,000 euro ($151,000) for crowd disturbances and the use of pyrotechnics at Russia's opening win over the Czech Republic.