Euro 2016: Extra police sent to France amid security concerns for fans

England fans clash with police prior to the match with Russia on Saturday, June 11. Picture: Getty
England fans clash with police prior to the match with Russia on Saturday, June 11. Picture: Getty
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The huge security operation surrounding England’s next Euro 2016 football match has been bolstered amid fears of a fresh wave of violence.

Extra British police will be deployed to France ahead of the next round of Group B matches and authorities in both England and Russia have appealed for supporters to behave.

Uefa handed Russia a suspended disqualification from the tournament after the disturbances at the game in Marseilles on Saturday, while the Football Association was previously warned further disorder could lead to the England team also being kicked out.

It comes as the first English fan to appear in a UK court over the trouble in France was handed a five-year football banning order, after a police “spotter” in the UK saw video of the man “throwing a chair”.

READ MORE: Alan Pattullo: Why Uefa should be in dock with England and Russia

Concerns have been raised about the security of fans as England prepare to take on Wales in Lens on Thursday and Russia play Slovakia in Lille on tomorrow, with the northern French cities just 23 miles apart.

Police says fans will be banned from drinking alcohol in the streets of Lens, although it will be served in cafes and bars in the small city of 36,000.

A group of 150 Russian hooligans, known as ultras, who were involved in the Marseilles trouble and were described as “hyper violent” are also feared to be still at large.

The Home Secretary said British police officers known as “spotters” who are trained to identify troublemakers have been sent to France and British officers trained in public order will also be deployed. Theresa May said that for “operational reasons” she would not reveal how many officers are being sent across the Channel.

Mrs May said the violence involving England supporters was “deeply disturbing” and blamed Russian fans for instigating much of the worst of it.

She said the Foreign Office is advising England fans without tickets not to travel to Lens and Lille and said English and Welsh supporters “should be on their guard”.

Earlier, FA chairman Greg Dyke said he has “serious concerns” about the security of fans, while Russia manager Leonid Slutsky asked his nation’s supporters to display “correct behaviour”.

Six English fans were jailed for between one and three months for their part in the Marseille violence and Daniel Warlow, 24, was banned from attending matches for five years for his part on 10 June.

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