Russian President Vladimir Putin has appeared to laugh at a group of fans who were attacked by a group of 150 Russian fans during the Euro 2016 tournament in Marseille, France.
According to Reuters, Putin was speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday, where he reportedly denied that around 200 Russian fans were responsible for the violence against English fans last Saturday at the Stade Velodrome.
“The fighting between Russian fans with the English, that is a disgrace,” said Putin. “I don’t know how 200 Russian fans could beat several thousand of the British.”
This comment was reportedly met with laughs from the audience. He went on to add that there many problems in professional sports.
“The European football cup is taking place at the moment, but I believe that people are paying more attention to the fan fights,” said Putin. “I guess the responsibility for such acts should be as personalized as possible.”
He continued, “And the way we treat the violators has to be the same. They have to all be equally treated.”
Putin also spoke about reaching out to Europe and make amends following the crisis in Ukraine, as reported by The Guardian. He called out European leaders to show flexibility because he claimed that European business wants to work with his country.