Unfair to blame England for Euro violence

French riot police move in to arrest Russian fans after they clashed with England supporters in Marseille
French riot police move in to arrest Russian fans after they clashed with England supporters in Marseille
Samantha Quayle. Picture: Jordan Hampton

Flying start for Pompey with Cardiff swept aside

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Pompey Trust vice chair Pam Wilkins is following England at Euro 2016. Here are her thoughts on events in France

It’s unfair if it’s being portrayed back home as English fans causing trouble at the European Championships. 
It’s a long way from being the case and it seems to be the Russian and French Ultras who have been attacking people. 
The Russians, in particular, seem to be very organised.

Sometimes our fans have found a quiet pub in a back street and they are being picked on. Also, they don’t seem to have an issue with attacking women and children.

Fortunately, I haven’t been involved in any of it, but people we’re with have got mixed up in what took place.

There will always be one or two, but, in the main it is not the England fans who are the cause of the trouble.

It certainly wasn’t England fans who were cause of what happened in the stadium on Saturday.

It was the Russians who were letting off the fireworks and flares and then started to moving towards the England fans after the goal.

There is some concern now about the Wales game, because they are up in Lille when we are in Lens.

Obviously we’ve heard about the Pompey fan, Pepe, who is in a coma and we’re thinking about him.

When we drove through the Old Port I saw a Pompey flag, so I guess he was with them.

There is frustration among our fans about the way the media is portraying things back home.

We know there has been quite a few prominent people like Gary Lineker blaming the England fans – and it’s not. It’s unfair to say that from what has actually taken place.

The strange thing is we went to Marseille really concerned about the terrorist threat. The thought was it must be a likely target, but it’s been forgotten about amid all the trouble.

We’ve actually had a great time in Avignon, where we stayed. The weather was great and it’s beautiful.

We’ve been sitting out in the warm each evening and watching football.

On the game itself, there were more than a few shades of Pompey about it!

The first half wasn’t bad, but I didn’t think we played brilliantly. There wasn’t any width or enough movement for me.

My expectations were that it’d be brilliant after watching fourth division football all season. That wasn’t the case.

We’re now off to Compiegne for the next game. It’s a nice atmosphere with the people we’re with, who are from all over the country.

There’s a real mixture – Barnsley, Sheffield United, Scunthorpe, AFC Wimbledon, Hereford and Wycombe.

We would hope the atmosphere will be better with the Wales fans this week.

I don’t think we are in for an easy game. It wouldn’t surprise me if we ended up losing that one.

There’s no way it will be an easy win. No way at all.