Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bit of a Dust-Up

"[The fighting between Russian and British hooligans in France during Euro 2016 is] a disgrace [still it is puzzling and it's hard to] understand how 200 of our fans could beat up several thousand English fans."
"I hope that there are sober-minded people among them [the battling fans] who really love sport and understand that any violation is not supporting their favourite team but damaging to the team and to sport."
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Alexander Shprygin
Friends in high places ... Alexander Shprygin pictured with Russian PM Vladimir Putin in 2010 -- Aleksey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images
Deported on Sunday, promising to return expeditiously, so as not to miss anything, Alexander Shprygin has made it abundantly clear that if his mentor Vladimir Putin can stick his thumb in the eye of the West in an intransigent entitlement to expand Greater Russia in eastern Europe, then he, as a loyal fan of Russian sports, can with impunity incite his fellow Russian sport enthusiasts to teach England fans a less in humility.

With the authority vested in him by his high-echelon connections, Shprygin, a neo-Nazi -- in a nation which had sacrificed countless lives to counter Nazi plans to invade the Soviet Union during World War II -- as an official member of the Russian delegation at euro 2016 was heavily invested in demonstrating his credentials. And did so in the manner typical of eastern Europe with an emphasis on Russian tradition.

Marseilles has been witness to some really exciting game plays and their accompanying aftermaths expressing the enthusiasm of game aficionados who know of a certainty that their team deserves popular acclaim and winning results through sheer skill, tenacity and sportsmanship. And it was that sportsmanship which Shprygin and his gang were eager to demonstrate, and did.

But not before their "racist behaviour" was recognized by a fine levied on the Russian Football Union of $240,000 alongside the threat they will be expelled from the tournament should more problems with their unbridled enthusiasm arise. All of which was a matter of amused commentary from the deputy speaker of the Russian parliament of whom Shprygin was a former protege.

"I don't see anything wrong with the fans fighting", tweeted Igor Ledbdev. "Quite the opposite. Well done, lads. Keep it up." Followed up by the Kremlin's Investigative Committee's Vladimir Markin quipping that French police didn't have what it takes to negotiate with "normal blokes", since they're usually at attendance during gay parades.

Once it became evident that calls were being heard to abandon the 2018 World Cup venue in Moscow and St.Petersburg for an alternative venue, a bit of sober second thought moved into the cerebellum of those for whom Western consternation at the obvious disregard by Russia at all levels of Western societal norms being viciously upturned lent credence to removing the privilege of siting the World Cup in Russia.

Suddenly, Mr. Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, underwent an amazing attitudinal transformation, echoing his boss in characterizing Russia's fans' behaviour as "a disgrace" bringing "shame" on Russia. The violence that France was experiencing through that source had become "absolutely unacceptable". By no means contrite, just stating the civil obvious.

Football viloence
Associated Press -- Bloodshed ... French police tend to an injured fan during the aftermath of violent scenes in Marseilles

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