He said Russian fans were provoked by English fans
Igor Lebedev, a member of the FA’s executive committee, an MP and deputy chairman of the Russian parliament has said that the fans defended the honour of Russia.
His reaction comes after French prosecutors said that 150 Russia fans were responsible for the violence caused at the Stade Velodrome after the England and Russia match.
He also said that “nine out of 10” football fans go to matches to fight, whilst saying the Russian supporters were reacting to English provocation.
“The guys defended the honour of Russia, and did not allow the British in any way to defile our homeland,” he said.
“Our fans are far from the worst. It is unclear why so many media are trying to denounce the actions of our football fans – and for what exactly?
“If there were no provocation on the part of the English fans, our fans are unlikely to have got into a fight in the stands.”
He added: “We need to understand that football fans in nine out of 10 cases come to the game to fight and this is a normal situation.”
However a reputative Russian fans group – ‘Fans’ Embassy Russia’ expressed its regret at the trouble and wished the England fans well and apologised for any harm caused.
They said: “The team expresses its regret about the situation with riots involving Russian fans in Marseille,”
“We strongly believe that such behaviour is not the norm for our citizens who are travelling to support the Russian national team in France.
“We are very sorry for those English people who have been injured and are now in hospital. We wish them the fastest recovery.
“As Fans’ Embassy Russia, we would like to emphasise the friendly communication and mutual respect that we have witnessed between the fans of Russia and England during their stay in Marseille.
“From our side, we are working to help all football supporters from both countries and to foster mutual respect together with a festive atmosphere at the tournament.”