Police Open Criminal Case Into Football Hooligan Attack on Journalists
Published: May 17, 2014 (Issue # 1810)
Police on Friday opened a criminal case into an attack on journalists ahead of Zenit St. Petersburg Football Club's last-day victory over Kuban Krasnodar.
Three Zenit fans were detained after Thursday's game on suspicion of assaulting a cameraman and damaging equipment, but were later released due to a lack of evidence, the Krasnodar region's police department said in an online statement.
Police are still looking for other suspects, the statement said.
Last weekend Zenit fans got their club into hot water with Russia's football authorities for their behavior during the club's match against Dynamo Moscow in St. Petersburg.
With their team trailing 4-2, hundreds of Zenit fans flooded the pitch in a bid to disrupt the game, with one supporter punching Dynamo captain Vladimir Granat in the face.
The game was abandoned and later recorded as a 3-0 win for Dynamo — a result that had a serious bearing on the league's outcome.
Zenit were fined fined 1 million rubles ($28,500) and ordered to play two home games behind closed doors for failing to control their fans.
The supporter who threw the punch at Granat handed himself in to police on Thursday.
This year's premier league title race, which was one of the most exciting in recent memory, ended in disappointment for Zenit.
The St. Petersburg side went into its game against Kuban a point behind reigning champions CSKA Moscow, who were up against city rivals and fellow title hopefuls Lokomotiv.
CSKA duly came up with goods, dispatching Lokomotiv 1-0, meaning that Zenit's 4-2 victory was not enough to secure the club's fourth league title since 2007.
Lokomotiv, who had spent much of the season in the top two, eventually finished third in the standings, missing out on a Champions League place.