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Russian interior ministry issues statement over recent incidents at football matches

November 18, 2012, 22:41 UTC+3
The match that was held at the Arena stadium in Khimki on Saturday was interrupted after a flare hurled from the guest sector exploded near Dynamo goalkeeper
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 18 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian interior ministry on Sunday issued a statement over the recent incident that took place during a match of the 16th round of the Russian Premier League between St. Petersburg’s Zenit and Moscow’s Dynamo teams.

The match that was held at the Arena stadium in Khimki on Saturday was interrupted after a flare hurled from the guest sector exploded near Dynamo goalkeeper Anton Shunin. The goalkeeper got a cornea burn and was hospitalized. By Sunday evening, Shunin was released from hospital to continue medical treatment at home.

“The Russian interior ministry has take under its special control a criminal case opened by its Moscow region department over an incident at the Arena-Khimki stadium, in which the Dynamo goalkeeper was hurt. The criminal case was opened on hooliganism charges,” the statement says.

“Apart from that, special attention will be paid to the investigation of a mass public order violation during a match between the Volga and Spartak teams that was also held on Saturday in Nizhny Novgorod. During this match, fans fired several dozen flares and broke 520 seats, of which 50 were thrown out to racetracks.

“Under the federal law on police, police officers are to assist organizers of sports and other mass events to ensure security and protect public order at places where such events are held.

“The Russian Premier League’s regulations place responsibility for ensuring security at football matches on their organizers. But practice proves that organizers of sports competitions, including football matches, often neglect their duties.

“Incidents that took place at yesterday’s football games in Khimki and Nizhny Novgorod are another evidence proving the aforesaid. Since the beginning of this year, police officers who were in charge of screening fans before football matches have seized more than 1,000 prohibited articles. Such screening efforts might have been still more efficient if organizers of sports event took part in this process.

“Taking into account the recent incidents and the general situation linked with the organization of security measures at football matches, the Russian interior ministry has issued a statement to the Russia Football Union where it informs in detail about violations of the regulations exposed at these matches. The ministry also urges to look at reasons for illegal acts during matches at a next meeting of the disciplinary committee. The ministry wants this committee to give an unbiased assessment of the incidents.”

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