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FC Zenit fan pleads guilty to punching Dynamo player at May 11 match

May 30, 2014, 19:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
One of the fans, Alexei Nesterov, punched in the head Dynamo captain Vladimir Granat, who was later hospitalized and diagnosed with concussion
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© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshynsky

MOSCOW, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. A football fan of FC Zenit St. Petersburg pleaded guilty to punching FC Dynamo Moscow player during fans’ outrage at a football match between the clubs earlier this month.

Dozens of home club’s supporters rushed to the pitch of the Petrovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg on the 87th minute of the match on May 11 attacking players as Zenit was losing 2-4. One of the fans, Alexei Nesterov, punched in the head Dynamo captain Vladimir Granat, who was later hospitalized and diagnosed with concussion.

Known among football fans under the nickname of ‘Gulliver,’ Nesterov was detained by police four days after the match. He admitted that he was guilty and extended his apologies to Granat, as well as to Zenit and the club’s fans.

He was charged with intentional infliction of bodily harm, and a relevant criminal case was initiated and submitted with a court. If found guilty by the court, Nesterov faces up to two years in prison.

In mid-May the Russian Football Union’s disciplinary committee subjected FC Zenit to a set of penalties for the fans’ outrage at the May 11 match. The penalties stipulated two home matches for the club in front of empty spectators’ stands, three more home matches with closed fan stands, a one million ruble fine (some $28,800) and a 0-3 technical defeat against Dynamo.

The financial penalty of 1 million rubles included the fine of 700,000 rubles for the club’s failure to provide security during the match and 300,000 rubles fine for flares used by the club’s fans.

Zenit head coach Andre Villas-Boas was also subjected to a financial penalty and was fined 30,000 rubles for leaving his technical area during the match.

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