Zenit coach condemns flare attack on Shunin

Moscow, Nov 19 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Zenit St. Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti has condemned the smoke bomb attack on Dynamo Moscow goalkeer Anton Shunin that led to their league match being called off.

The firework was hurled from the Zenit supporters end in Saturday's game at Dynamo's Arena Khimki with the home side leading 1−0.

"Without any doubt this deed was directed against Zenit," Spalletti said on the team website.

Shunin was briefly hospitalised with what Dynamo said was an eye injury. Zenit's general director Maxim Mitrofanov has threatened the team will withdraw from the league if punished too harshly while club spokesman Yevgeny Gusev said Sunday that hosts Dynamo should be handed a default loss for failing to stop the attack.

Spalletti added that "what happened deserves condemnation" and that Shunin's health was his greatest concern. He also suggested that the person who threw the pyrotechnic may not necessarily be a Zenit fan despite being in the Zenit sector and called for a "very serious and deep" investigation to find the culprit.

Local police said they had arrested a female fan on suspicion of throwing the pyrotechnic. Also Sunday, the general director of leaders CSKA Moscow criticised the referee for abandoning the match and said any punishment for Zenit must not include playing their next game, at home to CSKA Nov 26, behind closed doors.

"If they enact the sanction of a match without spectators we'll certainly not be happy about that. Playing in front of empty stands, that's really not football," Roman Babaev said.

Babaev added that CSKA's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev had previously been bombarded with coins at Arena Khimki where fans are much closer to the action that at many other Russian grounds because the stadium does not have a running track.

"The pitch there is very close to the stands and coins and lighters very often come flying at Igor. Fortunately, it hasn't led to the sort of sad consequences we saw yesterday."

Article No.32.2 of the Russian Football Association's disciplinary code stipulates that "the club playing away from home bears responsibility for all breaches by spectators included in its support group."

The following article states that any supporter located in the away sector at the stadium will be considered part of this group unless proven otherwise.

−−IANS/RIA Novosti


Updated Date: Nov 19, 2012 23:17 PM

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