Euro 2016 should’ve been a celebration of football and diversity, but Russian fans wanted to make their presence felt everywhere, not just on stadiums, starting violence waves in France, especially before their team’s opening game, against England.
UEFA fined the Russian Football Union and gave them a last warning and sent a number of fans back home, but this doesn’t change the fact that Stewart Gray, a Leicester fan who went to Marseille to support England, was left in a coma by Russian fans. Fortunately, police are currently reviewing several hours of CCTV footage, in order to find the “Ultras” who attacked Mr. Gray.
The fan is currently in a hospital in Marseille, after suffering serious head injuries, the result of being attacked with a hammer or metal bar, according to Leicester Mercury.
“Such facts have led to us investigating an attack on two England fans as attempted murder. We are currently interviewing witnesses, and looking through some 200 hours of video footage to find all those responsible,” said a Marseille prosecutor’s office spokesman.
Stewart Grey’s friends and family started an online appeal, in order to gather money to support his medical bills and expenses. Currently, almost the total was close to £22,000. Anybody who wants to donate can do it here.
“He is showing the early signs of recovery but will be unable to work for a long while,” said the organizers of the appeal.
Two more England fans were severely injured by Russian supporters. A Portsmouth fan, Mr Bache, was left in a coma after being attacked with metal bars. He suffered a cardiac arrest shortly after the attacks, but luckily enough, a French police officer performed CPR and stabilized him.
It seems that the violence in Marseille was started by a group of 150 Russian Ultras, who seemed highly trained for moments like this. Also, they were carrying telescopic batons and knives. During Group B’s opening game, England vs Russia, they also managed to bring pyrotechnic materials in the stadium.