UEFA condemned the violence on
the streets of Warsaw before Tuesday's Euro 2012 clash between
co-hosts Poland and Russia, saying it was determined that the
"festive atmosphere" would continue throughout the tournament.
Police detained 184 people, including 156 Poles and 24
Russians, after several bloody clashes in the capital. Teargas
and rubber bullets were fired as Polish and Russian fans fought
running battles and attacked riot police.
Authorities had been braced for a confrontation before the
game with relations between the two countries poisoned by
centuries of conflict and the Soviet domination of Poland for
more than four decades after World War Two.
Violence erupted as thousands of Russian fans, flanked by
police, crossed the Vistula river on the way to the stadium.
There were also reports of fighting in the city centre fan zone
and scuffles after the match.
"UEFA condemns the isolated incidents that occurred
yesterday in the city of Warsaw prior to and after the
Poland-Russia match, when some groups of known troublemakers
pelted the police with missiles and attacked fans irrespective
of the team they were supporting," European soccer's governing
body said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Those arrested and charged will have to be dealt with by
the relevant authorities."
In contrast to events outside the stadium, the match passed
off peacefully inside with no segregation between the sets of
supporters. Unlike in many domestic leagues across Europe, there
were not even stewards standing between the rival fans.
The light-security policy ended close to fulltime when
hundreds of riot police lined the side of the pitch at the end
housing the Russian fan contingent.
UEFA's statement implied that this show of strength had been
over the top.
"UEFA's philosophy is to create a welcoming environment
coupled with a low-profile approach to policing.
"The focus should be on facilitating the enjoyment of the
matches by genuine football fans and isolating the tiny
percentage of troublemakers. UEFA is in a constant dialogue with
the public authorities in order to achieve this aim.
"UEFA is determined that the overwhelmingly peaceful and
festive atmosphere that has so far pervaded UEFA Euro 2012 will
be continued right up to and including the final in Kiev on
Sunday July 1."
Earlier, Warsaw police spokesman Maciej Karczynski said riot
police were deployed along the perimeter of the pitch because
"we had intelligence that there could be incidents in the
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