By GRAHAM DUNBAR, Associated Press
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — UEFA fined the Russian soccer association $150,000 Wednesday because its fans attacked stadium stewards at a European Championship match.
Russia could be deducted six points in its Euro 2016 qualifying group for a repeat offense. UEFA rules hold soccer associations responsible for their fans' behavior inside stadiums.
"This decision is suspended for a probationary period running from now until the end of the playoffs of the next UEFA European Football Championship," UEFA said in a statement.
Russia can appeal the verdict within three days.
Russian fans were filmed fighting with stadium staff in Wroclaw after a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic last Friday. Police said violence flared when stewards tried to detain a man they believed threw a firecracker. Four stewards were treated at a hospital but were not seriously injured.
Russia's fine was also imposed by UEFA's disciplinary panel because of the thrown firework and for fans displaying "illicit banners." An anti-discrimination monitoring group reported seeing nationalist flags adopted by far-right activists.
Russia's fine could be deducted from the prize money and results bonuses UEFA pays to the 16 competing nations. The country has earned $11.9 million so far, and would collect more than $25.2 million if it wins the tournament.
Russia faces further "improper conduct" charges over its fans' behavior during a 1-1 draw with Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday.
A firecracker was thrown on the field after Russia scored, and at least six black, yellow and white "Russian Empire" flags were displayed at one end of the stadium occupied by Russian fans.
UEFA is still investigating claims that Russian fans racially abused Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie, who is black.
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