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MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Russia Football Union’s (RFU) disciplinary committee imposed a set of sanctions against Spartak Moscow football club citing their fans’ poor behavior at a match last week against Zenit St. Petersburg FC, Artur Grigoryants, the head of the committee, said on Wednesday.
During Spartak’s away match in St. Petersburg the Moscow club’s fans delivered intimidating and race-hatred statements, particularly in regard to Zenit’s Brazilian forward Hulk, and used fireworks.
Besides the finical penalties Spartak Moscow FC was also ordered to play its next away match, which will be played against Ural FC, with empty fans stands.
A series of penalties hit Russian football clubs during this season’s Russian championship with the prevailing number of fines imposed for poor behavior of clubs’ fans.
One of the cases in the chain of penalties might seem strange but it is true as Lokomotiv Moscow FC was fined on Wednesday 5,000 rubles ($126) because a stray dog ran out in the pitch during the club’s home match against Amkar Perm FC.
Fans' behavior during football matches in Russia was in particular focus in May after one of football players suffered a concussion at the hands of fans during the match time. Dozens of Zenit FC fans 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 punched in the head Dynamo Moscow FC captain Vladimir Granat, who was later hospitalized and diagnosed with concussion.
Zenit was fined afterwards one million rubles ($25,270), which 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.
Security and fans behavior during football matches is under a close attention of the Russian football authorities also because the country is in full swing preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Following an official ceremony held in September 2012 and attended by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Russia eventually selected 11 out of the earlier proposed 13 cities, excluding Krasnodar and Yaroslavl. The final list of the 2018 World Cup host cities includes Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia.