Zenit fans 'attacked' ahead of Spartak clash
Dozens of people today held up and attacked a bus transporting fans of Saint Petersburg side Zenit to watch their team's tense clash with Moscow giants Spartak, police said.sports Updated: Oct 02, 2011 14:33 IST
Dozens of people on Sunday held up and attacked a bus transporting fans of Saint Petersburg side Zenit to watch their team's tense clash with Moscow giants Spartak, police said.
The Zenit fans came under attack by around 30 unknown individuals who had earlier arrived in several cars. Zenit and Spartak fans are known for their mutual hatred and the fixture is one of the most tense in the calendar.
"The group of young people pelted the bus with stones and then attacked the fans with bats and sticks," Moscow region police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev told the RIA Novosti news agency.
"The number of injured is being investigated." He said three cars were later stopped by police and their occupants are being interrogated as suspects.
The match is due to take place at 1200 GMT at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium with all 60,000 tickets reported to have been sold and 2,500 police set to be deployed to ensure order.
The head of police for the Tver region between Saint Petersburg and Moscow where the incident happened, Denis Chernykh, told the ITAR-TASS news agency that the cars had Moscow number plates and contained around 30 people.
Tensions are running high in Russian top-flight football after a collision between Spartak's Brazilian forward Wellinton and CSKA Igor Akinfeev in August put the Russian international goalkeeper out for months.
Wellinton was subsequently banned for six matches for his conduct following a letter of protest against the player that was signed not only by CSKA but also Zenit and Moscow's Dinamo.