Vladimir Putin's Euro 2016 violence gag went down an absolute storm in Saint Petersburg 5 years ago

Vladimir Putin's Euro 2016 violence gag went down an absolute storm in Saint Petersburg

Well, this is a very serious issue... how about a joke to ease the tension?

Russia have been dominating the headlines during Euro 2016. However, it's not the football team that's making the news, but the behaviour of certain groups of their fans which has caused Uefa to fine them €150,000 and threaten to remove Russia from the tournament altogether if there are any more violent incidents involving Russian fans at any of the games.

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Vladimir Putin addressed the problem of hooligan violence in France at the country's annual economic forum in Saint Petersburg on Friday. And according to Sky News, he began with the following gag:

"The fighting between Russian fans with the English, that is a disgrace. But I truly don't understand how 200 of our fans could beat up several thousand English."

Cue applause and laughter from the audience.

However, it wasn't all knee-slappers at the expense of the puny Three Lions, Putin did call into question how the violence was allowed to happen at the tournament before criticising those who engaged in it.

"In any case, the treatment by law enforcement should be the same for all violators."

"I hope that there are sober-minded people among them who really love sport and understand that any violation is not supporting their favourite team but damaging to the team and to sport."

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