Russian football activist Shprygin expelled again by France | News | DW | 22.06.2016
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Russian football activist Shprygin expelled again by France

Russian football activist Alexander Shprygin has been expelled by France - again. He left France for a second time in four days on Tuesday. After Russia's exit from Euro 2016 he might not be coming back a third time.

Shprygin - whom anti-racism groups accuse of being a far-right nationalist once photographed making a Nazi salute - was initially expelled from France on Saturday. He had his visa canceled after fan violence between Russia and England supporters in Marseille in the first week of the European Championship in the country.

Shprygin was then arrested again at the Toulouse stadium, where Russia was playing Wales on Monday evening.

He reportedly posted pictures on Twitter of himself at the stadium and was then detained after the game kicked off and put on a plane to Moscow late on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry spokesman told the news agency AFP.

"Alexander Shprygin was expelled from France. The plane took off from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport shortly after midnight for Moscow," Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

Shprygin again posted pictures of himself on an Aeroflot plane taking him back to Moscow.

A picture made available 15 June 2016 shows then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and All-Russian Fan Association head Alexander Shprygin (L) at Lublino Cemetery before laying flowers to the grave of Spartak fan Yegor Sviridov killed in Moscow in early December 2010, in Moscow, Russia, 21 December 2010.

Putin and Alexander Shprygin pictured in December 2010

The Russian activist has in the past been pictured with President Vladimir Putin.

It's just not fair

French authorities have blamed violence in Marseille on June 11 mainly on Russian fans, and Shprygin was among those rounded up after that incident.

French authorities expelled a total of 20 Russian fans on Saturday. Shprygin claimed that four of them had managed to get back into France for their country's last match.

Russian diplomats have complained over the treatment of their fans before the 20 were ordered to leave.

Russian fans are at the center of a French inquiry into fighting around England's June 11 game against Russia, in which 35 were injured, most of them England fans.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said investigators are still hunting the attackers in two cases "which are considered attempted murder."

French investigators believe Shprygin returned to France after flying to Barcelona and crossing the border by car to Toulouse.

Russia meanwhile lost 3-0 to Wales on Monday night, and failed to qualify for the second round of the tournament.

Watch video 01:38

Fan violence mars opening weekend of Euro 2016

jbh/bk (AFP, Reuters, AFP)

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