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BELGRADE, March 29 /TASS/. Montenegrin football fan Luka Lazarevic suspected of throwing a flare at Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev during a Russia-Montenegro football match last Friday has apologized for his behavior, the Viesti portal reports.
The Euro Cup 2016 qualifier between Russia and Montenegro was interrupted in the first minute of the game after Lazarevic had thrown a flare at Akinfeyev. The goalkeeper was carried away on stretchers from the field. The match resumed 25 minutes later. Yuri Lodygin replaced Akinfeyev who was taken to hospital on the field.
The match took place at Podgorica’s Gradski stadium for 17,000 seats.
But the game was eventually cancelled after someone on the stands had thrown a foreign object from the stands at Russian player Dmitry Kombarov.
"When the game started someone lit a flare and dropped close to myself. I instinctively threw it away in the direction of the field in order not to burn myself and the people around me. Unfortunately, the flare hit the goalkeeper who at that moment started running to the middle of the field in the neck. I myself was shocked by what I had done. I would have helped him if I could have descended to the field," Lazarevic said.
The 25-year-old fan has been hiding since Friday. He surrendered to police on March 28. Lazarevic was accompanied by a lawyer.
The Russian Football Union lodged a protest to UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations), in connection with Friday’s incident on Saturday.