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MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. The referee’s decision to discontinue the 2016 European Football Cup qualifier in group G between Montenegro and Russia was fairly reasonable and all of his actions looked consistent, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS.
"Playing in a situation like this was hard, but the guys held firm. And they hand chances to score. Igor Akinfeyev’s health is of the greatest importance now. The referee was consistent. He had warned that the match would be cut short, if unrest continued. He did as he had promised," Mutko said.
The Montenegro-Russia encounter in Podgorica, Friday evening, had to be cut short in the 68th minute with no goals scored when an object was thrown at Russia’s defender Dmitry Kambarov. Shortly before that midfielder Roman Shirokov failed to put Russia ahead from the penalty spot.
Problems in the match began from the very outset, when a flare, hurled towards Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev by one of the fans seconds after kickoff hit him in the back of the head. Akinfeyev was carried away on stretchers. The referee took both teams off the pitch for a while. The Russian goalkeeper was delivered to a Podgorica hospital. Play resumed some 30 minutes later.