More than 100 arrested as old hatreds erupt at Euro 2012

 

Russian football fans clashed with police and Poland supporters in Warsaw hours before the two teams were to meet in an emotionally charged match at Euro 2012.

Tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannons were used by police, during a number of separate incidents in the build-up to the match at the National Stadium. More than 100 arrests were made and 10 people were injured. The trouble flared despite an unprecedented security operation.

"We are still monitoring the situation and trying to identify the supporters involved. The operation is not over from our side as we continue in our attempts to catch those who are causing trouble," a police spokesman said.

Thousands of Russian fans marched towards the stadium to mark Russia Day, considered provocative by some Poles whose nation was subjected to decades of rule by Moscow.

One flashpoint was the Poniatowski Bridge, where Russian fans responded to taunts from their Polish counterparts by hurling missiles. The two sides, made up of dozens of men, kicked and beat each other, while flares could be seen exploding in their midst.

Russia fans clashed with police on a bridge near the National Stadium and police were later seen making arrests.

A group of clearly drunken Polish men began fighting among themselves, hitting and kicking each other. Two were on the ground bleeding and police intervened, throwing two more to the ground.

The men were holding cans of beer and mumbling and one appeared to be unconscious.

The police acted quickly and decisively to put an end to it.

But close to the stadium there was little sign of trouble. In the ground the two sets of fans were sitting next to each other without stewards separating them.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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