Russian footballers detained by police after attack on civil servant

Guardian sport on 10 October 2018

Russia internationals Aleksandr Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev have been detained by police and face possible prison sentences after allegedly attacking a man outside a cafe in Moscow.

The attack was captured on CCTV cameras and shows a man, identified as ministry of industry and trade official Denis Pak, being kicked and punched in the street by a group of people said to include the two footballers. Kokorin is a forward at Zenit St Petersburg while midfielder Mamaev represents FC Krasnodar.

The pair were summoned by police for questioning having been told if they did not, nationwide search warrants would be issued. According to officials, Kokorin and Mamaev did that on Wednesday and are now in custody over charges of hooliganism, which carries a maximum jail sentence of seven years.

Kokorin and Mamaev have declined to comment on the matter. However, the Russian Premier League has wasted no time in describing them as “hooligans” while Zenit and Krasnodar have also not shied away from criticising their own players.

Zenit’s statement read: “What happened in Moscow involving Aleksandr Kokorin has caused great disgust and indignation at the club. We don’t think it’s necessary to speak of a club punishment for the player – it will come, but right now the management of Zenit and the fans feel nothing but dismay, that one of the country’s most talented footballers has behaved disgustingly.

“We await the legal assessment by the relevant bodies, but from the human and emotional viewpoint such an incident only arouses shame.”

Krasnodar, meanwhile, are already looking into terminating Mamaev’s contract. A club statement read: “Unfortunately, contracts are drawn up in such a way that they protect professional athletes to the greatest possible extent. But we will do everything to get it done.”

Kokorin, 27, has 48 caps for Russia but missed this year’s World Cup with a knee injury. Mamaev, 30, has represented the national team 15 times. Zenit beat Krasnodar 2-1 in the league on Sunday.

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