Russian Football Match Abandoned Due To Fan Violence
The 2018 World Cup host Russia was "grappling with a new football hooliganism scandal after the unruly behavior of fans who threw fireworks on the pitch forced the abandonment of a top-flight cup match" Thursday, according to the AFP. The incident is "a huge embarrassment for Russia" days before it hosts a top FIFA delegation, including President Sepp Blatter, for a glitzy ceremony to announce the final list of the host cities for the 2018 World Cup. The referee called off the fourth-round Russia Cup match between Dinamo Moscow and their local rivals Torpedo Moscow in the 51st minute "amid chaotic scenes with parts of the pitch blanketed in smoke and fireworks crackling on the turf." In a statement the police said that "20 fans were arrested as fights broke out between rival fan groups on the streets around the stadium" before the match late Wednesday. Another six were arrested after the match was stopped (AFP, 9/27).