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Side issues troubling two major international football tournaments

Side issues troubling two major international football tournaments

livefootballscore6Centenary Copa America officials say homophobic chanting at international matches “must stop” but they have opted not to take action against offending teams.

“The Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL) take any chants or actions that are derogatory or offensive during our matches very seriously,” organizers said in a joint statement yesterday.

“This behavior does not reflect the true spirit of soccer and must be stopped.”

The confederations said they launched an ‘Embrace Diversity’ campaign before the tournament and promised more initiatives in the future.

However, unlike soccer’s ruling body FIFA, which fined Argentina, Chile, Honduras, México, Peru and Uruguay for homophobic chants by fans earlier this year, the confederations decided to take no action.

The shouts have been heard at many matches at the Centenary Copa America in the United States and usually come when goalkeepers run up to take goal kicks.

The practice described by FIFA as “insulting and discriminatory chants” has been particularly noticeable in games involving Mexico

Meanwhile the head of a Russian soccer supporters’ association, Alexander Shprygin, is among 20 Russian fans who will be expelled from France in the coming days after violence flared at their Euro 2016 match against England, a police source said yesterday.

The 20 are from a group of 43 detained by police in the Marseille region earlier this week.

Also yesterday three Russian fans were jailed for one year, 18 months and two years respectively by a Marseille court for planning acts intended to harm people and destroy property.

That brought the total of those handed jail sentences for Marseille Euro 2016 fan violence to 12 so far, prosecutor Brice Robin told a news conference. Another seven were banned from entering stadiums and four are yet to be judged for theft with violence, Robin said.

“This is a strong message to all those troublemakers who confuse sports with violence and whose behaviour is completely unacceptable and has led to two English fans being seriously injured,” Robin said.

Much of the violence was due to Russian fans, Robin said, adding that some of them belonged to “Orel Butchers” Lokomotiv Moscow supporters’ group and others to Spartak Moscow’s “Gladiators” group.

“These people claimed belonging to a ‘Tour de France of violence'” Robin said.

Seven Russian soccer fans returning to Moscow from the European Championship in France beat up a small group of Spanish tourists in Cologne yesterday, leaving two people seriously injured, German media reported.

Police detained six of the seven Russian fans, Focus Online and Bild said.

 

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