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Zenit to play its match vs. CSKA Moscow without fans

November 23, 2012, 19:08 UTC+3

The decisions made are supposed to turn the tide in the situation with Russian fans and their behavior at stadiums

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MOSCOW, November 23 (Itar-Tass) — Zenit St. Petersburg will play the central match of the 17th round of the national football championships vs. CSKA Moscow at the Petrovsky stadium on November 26 without fans, Sergei Kulikov, the director of competitions department of the Russian Football Union, told Itar-Tass.

The Russian Football Union’s Control and Disciplinary Committee passed its decision on Zenit in connection with its game vs. Dynamo Moscow in the 16th match day of the SOGAZ Russian Premier League when a firecracker thrown by Zenit’s St. Petersburg fans injured Dynamo Moscow’s goalkeeper Anton Shunin who suffered serious burns to his eyes.

Zenit submitted an appeal to the Russian Football Union’s Committee of Appeals on November 23rd concerning the decision of the Control and Disciplinary Committee.

In the meantime, the Russian Interior Ministry and the Russian Ministry of Sports have drafted a new fan bill that will fill the legal vacuum in this sphere. The federal bill contains several legal novelties. It allows establishing rules of behavior for fans at stadiums, the rights and obligations of all the parties concerned, including football clubs and stadium owners, and increasing security at stadiums, according to police Lieutenant-General Yuri Demidov, the head of the public order department at the Russian Interior Ministry.

Demidov believes that this civilized European law takes equal account of the interests of all parties. It will help restoring order at stadiums. If it’s passed, it will lay down the legal foundation for working out rules of checking fans at the entrance to stadiums and establishing their identity, Demidov said.

He added that the bill’s authors had used foreign experience in drafting the fan bill. “Actions like throwing firecrackers and other pyrotechnics, running out into the field and causing damage to the stadium will be punishable by an administrative fine and a one-year ban to attend football matches. For example, British fan laws prescribe similar measures,” Demidov told a news conference in Moscow earlier this week.

“The decisions made are supposed to turn the tide in the situation with Russian fans and their behavior at stadiums,” Demidov said in conclusion.

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