Moscow fans throw firecracker, injure goalkeeper

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MOSCOW  (AFP) – Dynamo Moscow’s league match against Zenit St Petersburg was abandoned in the 36th minute after home goalkeeper Anton Shunin was injured by a firecracker thrown by the visiting team’s fans.

Dynamo had taken the lead in the 27th minute of the game through a Vladimir Granat freekick, but referee Alexei Nikolaev called a halt to the game nine minutes later after Shunin went down injured.

Russian Premier League general manager Sergei Cheban said that the league’s disciplinary panel would decide the result of the match after an investigation into the incident.

“The referee decided to cancel the match,” Cheban said. “The league’s disciplinary committee will investigate the incident and take the decision on the case.”

The league’s security chief Alexander Meitin said that local police had tried to detain the fan who threw the firecracker onto the pitch of the Khimki arena.

“We have the video footage which allows us to identify the person who threw the firecracker that injured the Dynamo goalkeeper,” Meitin said.

“He will definitely be punished for his action.”

Shunin said he was experiencing problems with his sight and hearing after the firecracker exploded near him.

“Something fell near me,” he said. “I looked down and the firecracker blew up into my face. I’m having some problems with my sight and hearing and I’m now going to the hospital to undergo testing there.”

Earlier on Saturday, Spartak Moscow were held to a 1-1 draw away to Volga.

Spartak midfielder Dmitry Kombarov put his side into the lead in the 13th minute, beating Volga ‘keeper Mikhail Kershakov with a well-struck 25-metre freekick.

But Volga forward Alexander Salugin saved the day for the hosts in first-half injury time, sending home a rebound after Spartak shot-stopper Artem Rebrov failed to clear the hosts’ freekick from the left flank.

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