Supporters group hits out at 'pre-planned' attacks on England fans 5 years ago

Supporters group hits out at 'pre-planned' attacks on England fans

Independent football fan group the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) has condemned what it describes as 'pre-planned, organised and brutal attacks' on England fans in France.

Supporters were subjected to violence inside the Stade Velodrome following the 1-1 Euro 2016 group stage draw, while attacks have been carried out across Marseille.

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One fan was thrown into the sea, while others were reported to be in a critical condition following the violence.

Uefa has warned that both England and Russia could face severe penalties - potentially even being kicked out of the European Championships altogether - if there is more of the same.

And, while accepting that not all England fans are 'angels', the FSF has been quick to speak out about 'knee-jerk' responses to events in the south of France.

'In Marseille, England fans were subjected to numerous pre-planned, organised and brutal attacks on several occasions in the days preceding the game against Russia, in the stadium itself, and after the match,' the statement reads.

'Dozens of England fans have been injured, some seriously. Many more, including women and children, have been affected by tear gas or water cannons deployed by the police. It has meant for many a very unpleasant beginning to what should be a thoroughly enjoyable carnival of football.

'With a few honourable exceptions, the knee-jerk first response of many in the media and in politics has been once again to cast blame on us, lazily or to suit their own agenda falling back on out-of-date stereotypes about English hooligans abroad.

'Whatever the history – and there has been plenty in years gone by which earned us a negative reputation – this time, those accusations are wide of the mark.'

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England's next game is against Wales in Lens, and alcohol restrictions have been imposed across the small town in anticipation of the meeting.

Read the full FSF statement here.