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FIFA trying to identify fans filmed fighting at World Cup match

MOSCOW: Soccer’s world governing body FIFA said on Friday it was trying to identify fans shown fighting in a video filmed at Thursday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Croatia.

Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 in their Group D match, played in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, leaving the hopes of the twice world champions hanging by a thread.

A video filmed during the match and circulated widely on social media shows a group of men in Argentina and Croatia team colours fighting in the stands. One Croatian supporter is punched and hit repeatedly while lying on the floor and then kicked in the head.

“We are absolutely shocked by the images in question. FIFA firmly condemns the behaviour of these so-called fans,” a FIFA spokesman said in written comments to Reuters.

“FIFA is cooperating with the relevant security authorities and will do its utmost to contribute to identifying the individuals involved in these criminal acts in order to ensure that they are punished accordingly.”

FIFA and host nation Russia have promised to hold a safe and welcoming World Cup despite concerns ahead of the tournament about hooliganism and the potential for fan violence.

Russia’s Local Organising Committee, the embassies of Argentina and Croatia, and media officers for both teams did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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