Arrests near 200 after violent clashes surrounding Poland - Russia match

Rival fans fought running battles in the streets of Warsaw ahead of the two nations' Group C meeting and it has been confirmed that 10 people were injured
Russian and Polish football fans were involved in a series of violent clashes ahead of Tuesday's Euro 2012 match between the two teams, resulting in nearly 200 arrests.

A police statement has confirmed that more than 183 arrests were made with 10 people injured during the fighting, which erupted during a march involving thousands of Russian supporters prior to violence spilling over into the fan zone in Plac Defilad Square.

Riot police took to the streets to keep the peace and are understood to have deployed a water cannon, as well as the use of rubber bullets, to attempt to keep the situation under control.

 Max de Haldevang
 Russia Expert
Tuesday evening's Poland vs Russia Group A game might just prove a mere footnote in what has proved to be the worst day of violence since the start of Euro 2012.

There is a long and bitter history of animosity between Poland and Russia, replete with centuries of invasions, oppression and massacres.

Many thought that when Poland broke away from the USSR in 1989, the last act had finally been played out. But old wounds remain, and tensions re-escalated when the Polish president Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash over Russian land two years ago.
The police statement, released via, read: "There are more than 183 hooligans caught by the police because of disorders in Warsaw - firstly during the march to National Stadion, secondly in the fan zone in Plac Defilad Square.

"Among the kept persons there are fans of both teams - Russian and Polish.

"There are 10 persons who are injured: seven Poles, two Russians and a German - their lives are not in danger concerning the information from the medical services.

"The police operation is still lasting. The police officers are checking the surveillance system, police cameras and still [plan to] identify the hooligans who took part in the disorders. Further arrests are planned."

A Warsaw police spokesman also confirmed that the process of identifying the supporters involved is underway.

The statement to Press Association Sport read: "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."