Hodgson and Rooney call for calm

England manager Roy Hodgson and captain Wayne Rooney have made a direct appeal to their fans, pleading with them to stay out of trouble at Euro 2016.

The opening weekend of the competition was marred by several scenes of violence in France, with England’s match against Russia responsible for the most serious clashes.

A repeat of the kind of scenes that unfolded before and after the match in Marseille on Saturday could see both teams expelled from the tournament by Uefa.

“I am very concerned at the threat now hanging over us,” said Hodgson.

“We have worked very hard to get here and desperately want to stay.

“We appreciate all your support at the matches, of course, but I am appealing to you to stay out of trouble and to try to make certain these threats being issued are never carried out and we will be able to attempt to do the best we can to stay in this competition by football means.”

<> on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France.

Hodgson’s appeal is reminiscent of former England manager Kevin Keegan, who had to make a similar plea after violence broke out in Charleroi, Belgium, during Euro 2000.

Captain Rooney added: “I’d like the thank the England fans for the great support inside the stadium against Russia and now we have a big game coming up against Wales, I’d like to ask the fans please if you don’t have a ticket don’t travel and for the fans with tickets, be safe, be sensible and continue with your great support for the players. Thank you.”

Around 35 people were injured during three days of clashes between supporters in the lead-up to the England v Russia fixture, while Russian supporters also charged England fans inside the stadium after the final whistle.

Four of those injured are in a serious condition, including 50-year-old Andrew Bache, from Portsmouth, who is in a coma after being beaten by Russian fans armed with iron bars.

Uefa have opened disciplinary proceedings against Russia, but not the English Football Association (FA).

England play Wales in their second match on Thursday.