Russian PM Medvedev talks tough on hooligans

Published: 27th November 2012 11:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2012 11:04 AM   |  A+A-


In a desperate attempt to curb football violence in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday called for the most notorious hooligans to be banned for life from matches.

A Russian league game between Dynamo Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg was called off last week after the Dynamo goalkeeper was injured after a firecracker was thrown from the Zenit stands. More than 90 people were briefly detained after the match but no one has been charged.

Dynamo was given a 3-0 win.

In the wake of disturbances at the Dynamo-Zenit game, the Russian government has drafted a bill to introduce harsh penalties for misbehaving fans, such as temporary suspensions. But on Monday, Medvedev urged the government to go further and introduce life bans.

Medvedev said punishment ought to be "extremely harsh against those who come to the stadium to misbehave rather than watch the match."

Russia is due to host a handful of international sports events in the coming years, including the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and the World Cup in 2018.

Medvedev said Monday that security for fans and athletes is a "priority" for Russia.

Violence at football matches as well as hooliganism off the field has been a problem in Russia for years but authorities have not been able to curb it.

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