Ma­maev, Koko­rin to be de­tained for two months

Both play­ers apol­o­gise for their be­hav­iour at a court hear­ing in Moscow

Gulf Times Sport - - FOOTBALL -

Dis­graced Rus­sian foot­ballers Pavel Ma­maev and Alexan­der Koko­rin were yes­ter­day or­dered to be de­tained for two months fol­low­ing an un­pro­voked at­tack on two gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, prose­cu­tors said. Krasnodar mid­fielder Ma­maev and Zenit Saint Peters­burg for­ward Koko­rin will re­main be­hind bars un­til De­cem­ber 8 pend­ing their trial for “hooli­gan­ism”, a crime for which they face up to five years in prison, Rus­sian agen­cies re­ported.

Both play­ers apol­o­gised at the court hear­ing for their be­hav­iour. “I am ashamed for the fans and the club, and I apol­o­gise for my out­ra­geous ac­tions,” Koko­rin was quoted by TASS as say­ing.

Ma­maev added: “I want to apol­o­gise once again pub­licly to the vic­tims of my scan­dalous acts. I am ready to make amends for the mo­ral and ma­te­rial dam­age suf­fered. I should not have done it.” Video footage caught the two men at­tack­ing two Rus­sian trade min­istry of­fi­cials in an up­scale Moscow cafe at the week­end. One of the of­fi­cials, De­nis Pak, an eth­nic Korean, was hit with a chair while eat­ing a meal.

Rus­sian Premier League chiefs have re­quested a life­time ban for the pair. Krasnodar has pledged to ter­mi­nate Ma­maev’s con­tract while Zenit has con­demned Koko­rin’s role as “dis­gust­ing”. The Saint Peters­burg club re­moved all shirts bear­ing his name fol­low­ing re­ports of the at­tack. Pak’s lawyer Gen­nadiy Udun­yan told Rus­sian state tele­vi­sion on Wed­nes­day: “They started to mock (Pak’s) eth­nic­ity”. The play­ers then al­legedly as­saulted Pak when he made a crit­i­cal com­ment. He added: “He has a con­cus­sion.”

Be­fore the cafe as­sault the foot­ballers at­tacked the driver of a tele­vi­sion host and dam­aged her Mercedes in a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent on Mon­day. The driver was hos­pi­talised with in­juries and a crim­i­nal probe was opened.

On Tues­day, Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Krem­lin — “just like the whole coun­try” — was aware of the in­ci­dent and de­scribed the video as “rather un­pleas­ant”.

Com­men­ta­tors, mean­while, were keen to un­der­line the play­ers were not part of the Rus­sia team that punched above its weight to reach the quar­ter­fi­nals as hosts of the World Cup this sum­mer. “We should spec­ify that those two...are not cur­rently mem­bers of the na­tional squad,” Igor Rabiner, a colum­nist for the Rus­sian daily news­pa­per Sport Ex­press, said.

Koko­rin last played for the na­tional side in late 2017, while Ma­maev was last se­lected in 2016. It is not the first time the play­ers’ be­hav­iour has raised eye­brows. The Rus­sian Foot­ball Union (RFU) sus­pended the pair in July 2016 af­ter a video emerged from a Monte Carlo night­club in which Ma­maev and Koko­rin al­legedly spent $296,000 on a cham­pagne-fu­elled party fol­low­ing Euro 2016, where Rus­sia flopped.

Koko­rin, who sat out this year’s World Cup with a knee in­jury, later apol­o­gised for his be­hav­iour and was wel­comed back into the na­tional team. “Now they’re just lowlifes who went berserk,” Rabiner added.

“Just ill-bred peo­ple who went crazy on the huge money that they re­ceive from their clubs.”

(AFP)

Rus­sian foot­baller Pavel Ma­maev, de­tained as a sus­pect in a probe over hooli­gan­ism fol­low­ing an un­pro­voked at­tack on two gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, at­tends a court hear­ing in Moscow yes­ter­day.

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