PARIS (AP) — Threatened with being kicked out of the European Championship because of fan violence, England coach Roy Hodgson and captain Wayne Rooney have appealed to supporters to behave.
Video messages were published Monday, one day after UEFA warned the English and Russian soccer federations that the teams risk being disqualified for a repeat of days of disorder which blighted their opening match in Marseille on Saturday.
“I am obviously very concerned about the threat which is now hanging over us,” Hodgson said in a 30-second message.
England was responding to UEFA’s request to make a public declaration.
On Sunday, the Russian federation called on supporters to “respect the opponents and their fans.”
Russia next plays Slovakia on Wednesday in Lille, 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Lens, where England plays Wales on Thursday.
Hodgson urged England fans ahead of its match to “stay out of trouble.”
“We worked very hard to get here and we really desperately want to stay in the competition,” Hodgson said.
Russian fans were blamed for fighting inside the stadium and the federation is expected to be punished by UEFA on Tuesday. UEFA could impose a fine and sanctions to apply in the Euro 2020 competition.
Still, England fans were at the center of numerous fights in Marseille’s Old Port neighborhood with police, and groups of French and Russian fans.
Rooney said in his video message that he “would like to ask the fans: Please, if you don’t have a ticket, don’t travel.”
“Be safe, be sensible and continue with your great support for the players,” Rooney said.
Russia defender Roman Shishkin thanked the national team’s fans on Monday for their support, though declined to address the issue of violence outside the stadium.
“We don’t know what happened exactly on the streets,” Shishkin said. “Our work is to play, to train, and we thank the supporters.”
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