Following violent clashes between England and Russia supports in and outside Stade Vélodrome last Saturday, The Guardian’s Owen Gibson reports the latter’s head of their official supporters club, Alexander Shprygin, is being deported from France in the middle of Euro 2016.
Shprygin told Tass, “We will probably see our consul tomorrow. We will challenge this decision. It is an absolutely absurd award. We can challenge it within two days. We will ask for a lawyer. I was involved in no clashes or anything of the kind.”
Shprygin is considered by the Fare network, which provides official observers at matches for Uefa and Fifa, to be a leading light in Russia’s network of extreme-right ultra fan groups. Piara Powar, the network’s executive director, said that the presence of Shprygin within the official party raised wider concerns about “the apparent nexus of high-level politicians, far-right leaders and extreme nationalism” in Russian football before the 2018 World Cup that will be hosted in the country.
Shprygin has been photographed performing a Nazi salute with a singer from a notorious Russian far-right rock band, Korrozia Metalla, some of whose songs are banned and included in the federal list of extremist materials in Russia for inciting inter-ethnic hatred.
Since forming the Russian Supporters Union in 2007, Shprygin has appeared to tone down his rhetoric. But he outraged many when he recently said he wanted to “see only Slavic faces in the Russian national team” and suggested there was “something wrong” with a team photo posted on Twitter by the France player Mathieu Valbuena because it contained “very many” black faces.