FC Zenit compensates fans for close−door game

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 28, 2012 08:50 hrs

St. Petersburg, Nov 28 (IANS) Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg began to compensate fans for tickets sold to a game where supporters were banned from entering the stadium.

The Monday game between Zenit and Moscow's CSKA, which ended 1−1, took place in an nearly empty stadium, reports Xinhua.

According to the club, fans must go to Zenit's Petrovsky stadium in St. Petersburg for the refund. Those who live in other cities or bought tickets online also need to go to the stadium in person if they demand compensation.

It was the first game after a major incident during Zenit's game versus Moscow's club Dynamo Nov 17. A firecracker thrown by a Zenit fan injured Dynamo's goalkeeper during the game in Khimki arena near Moscow.

Following the incident, the control−disciplinary board of the Russian Football Union fined Zenit and ordered the club to play next two games without fans inside the stadium.

The move was designed to force Zenit fans to take responsibility for their unacceptable behaviour.

St. Petersburg authorities deployed 2,000 strong police units to guard the empty stadium. Only accredited media and match officials were allowed to get into the ground.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Monday vowed to undertake tough measures aimed at hooligans.

According to him, the government must toughen punishments for sports−related crimes because Russia would host several international sports events in the next few years, including Winter Olympics in 2014 and FIFA World Cup in 2018.

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