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Russian football authorities mull disciplinary norms for fans at national team’s matches

April 06, 2015, 21:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
FIFA and UEFA requirements concerning disciplinary norms were also discussed at the meething of fan clubs representatives with the chairman of the All-Russia Fans Union and RFU President
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© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) jointly with the leading fan clubs of the country intends to work out a document on disciplinary norms for fans during matches of the national team, Alexander Shprygin, the chairman of the All-Russia Fans Union, told TASS on Monday.

Sprygin and representatives of Spartak, Dinamo, Lokomotiv, Torpedo and Zenit fan clubs held a meeting on Monday with RFU President Nikolay Tolstykh discussing incidents with fans behavior during the national team’s matches, particularly during the suspended qualifier of the 2016 Euro Cup against Montenegro on March 27.

"Among other issues we discussed FIFA and UEFA requirements concerning disciplinary norms," Shprygin said. "We agreed that the support of fans must be for the benefit of the national team, instead of for the detriment. Both sides heard each other and a set of measures will be worked out."

"The set of measures will be documented. Fan clubs will submit their proposals within a week," Shprygin said adding that similar meetings with RFU President Tolstykh would be held on a regular basis in the future.

Russia-Montenegro 2016 Euro Cup qualifier

UEFA announced a week ago that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro and Russia over March 27 qualifier in Podgorica. The organization said it opened disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro "for the setting off and throwing of fireworks and objects by their spectators and for holding a match that did not get played in full."

Apart from that, UEFA opened disciplinary case against the RFU for throwing flares and other objects by its fans. The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is scheduled to consider the issue on April 8.

Igor Akinfeyev, a goalkeeper of the Russian national football team, sustained severe injuries on the night of March 27 during the Group G qualifying match after one of the Montenegrin fans hurled a flare at the Russian footballer.

The goalkeeper was carried away on stretchers and the referee had to take both teams off the pitch for about 30 minutes. The injured Russian player was taken to a hospital in Podgorica. After a while the referee ruled play must go on.

The incident occurred seconds after kick-off. Akinfeyev suffered concussion and a burn of the neck. The match had to be eventually terminated in the 68th minute with no goals scored by either side after an object was thrown at Russian defender Dmitry Kombarov. Montenegro are now faced with a 0:3 technical defeat and disqualification of the home stadium.

The Russian team, including Akinfeyev, returned to Moscow after their plane landed at Sheremetyevo airport the following morning. Upon arrival Akinfeyev told the media he was well.

Russia’s head coach Fabio Capello said commenting on the match that the game should have been halted instantly after the first major incident that followed seconds after kickoff.

He explained that was precisely the kind of decision he and all players had been waiting for. Play should have been discontinued at once, he added.

Russian football fans at matches

Last year Russian football clubs had often been the subject of UEFA’s penalties over their fans misconduct during the matches.

The Russian Football Union’s (RFU) disciplinary committee had been also very active imposing penalties on domestic football clubs for their fans misconduct, which often manifested race-hatred behavior, during the games.

Fans behavior during football matches in Russia was in particular focus last May after a football player suffered a concussion at the hands of fans during the match time. Dozens of Zenit St. Petersburg FC fans rushed to the pitch of the Petrovsky Stadium in in Russia’s second largest city on the 87th minute of the match on May 11 attacking players as Zenit was losing its home match 2-4. One of the fans punched in the head Dinamo Moscow FC captain Vladimir Granat, who was later hospitalized and diagnosed with concussion.

One of the cases in the chain of penalties might have seemed strange but it was true as Lokomotiv Moscow FC was fined last October 5,000 rubles ($126 at that time’s exchange rate) because a stray dog ran out in the pitch during the club’s home match against Amkar Perm FC.

Security and fans behavior during football matches is under close attention of the Russian football authorities also because the country is in full swing preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over four years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are 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 between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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