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Published: 08:59 | 14/6/16

FA concerned about security arrangements

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has written to UEFA expressing his concern over the security arrangements ahead of Thursday's clash with Wales.

England supporters clashed with Russian fans in Marseille in the days leading up to Saturday's meeting between the sides, with prosecutors claiming 150 Russian hooligans were behind the violence.

Both teams have been warned they face expulsion from the competition if there is any further violence but there are fears there could be more clashes ahead of this week's matches - England play Wales in Lens with Russia due to meet Slovakia in nearby Lille.

Dyke has serious concerns over the security arrangements in place and has written to UEFA calling for security to be improved in the build-up to Thursday's game.

"We are planning to use our high-profile individuals to ask English fans to act responsibly and in a respectful manner and we take seriously your suggestion of sanctions," Dyke wrote.

"We understand there is to be an alcohol ban across the host cities and we would welcome this, particularly in Lille on Wednesday where many English fans have been asked to gather ahead of Thursday's match against Wales in Lens.

"We have, following consultation with the authorities, advised our supporters without tickets for the match in Lens to congregate there, and whilst we will be working hard to positively influence their behaviour we have serious concerns around the security arrangements for the city in the next few days.

"These concerns are heightened with the knowledge that Russia will play in Lille on Wednesday afternoon."

Russian supporters clashed with their English counterparts during Saturday's game at the Stade Velodrome and Dyke has rejected claims that English fans were responsible for the ugly scenes inside the stadium.

"Whilst we absolutely share the executive committee's concern regarding these abhorrent scenes, particularly in the Stade Velodrome on Saturday night, I would like to make some serious points," he added.

"The implication in your jointly-addressed letter is that English fans were in part responsible for the terrible incidents at the end of the match with Russia. This is contradicted both by the video evidence and by the fact your independent disciplinary bodies have only instigated sanctions against the Russian Football Union.

"We believe the stewarding arrangements in place were unacceptable. Supporters were able to get in with fireworks and flares, and then let them off, and there was insufficient segregation between the Russian and English fans, particularly given the events of the previous two days.

"Having said that let me be clear, we join you in condemning the horrible scenes in Marseille away from the stadium on Thursday, Friday and matchday."

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