Russian soccer match called after fans invade field, attack opponents

By Mike Singer |

A Russian Premier League match between Zenit St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow was called on Sunday with only a few minutes remaining after Zenit supporters invaded the field and one of their fans attacked an opposing player.

Trailing 4-2 in the 87th minute, Zenit fans in St. Petersburg ran onto the pitch, and video shows a shirtless man run up behind Dynamo defender Vladimir Granat and swing at his head. Commentary aside, it's a pretty scary image.

Granat, a possible member of Russia's World Cup roster, suffered a head injury, the team's sporting director confirmed to local media, via the AP.

The club apologized for the incident and said that it's working with police to identify the attacker.

"Besides the match itself being stopped due to fan aggression, the most shameful episode came from aggressive fan behavior towards the players of the opposing team," the club said in a statement.

“The club understands that fans have the right to be disappointed and displeased with the team's play, but hooliganism and disorder are not acceptable in any case.”

The game was abandoned at the 87th minute, and the Russian Football Union's disciplinary committee will meet later this week to address punishments as well as the finality of the match.

It's not the first such incident between these two teams. In 2012, another match was abandoned when Zenit fans threw a flare that hit the Dynamo goalkeeper.

The 2018 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Russia.

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