Zenit St. Petersburg's web site was hacked Wednesday, though the attack targeted the city government and ruling party, not the footballers.
The hacker, who signed as a "man from Leningrad" — referring to the city's Soviet-era name — slammed United Russia as "the party of thieves and crooks."
But the derogative slogan, introduced in February by whistleblower Alexei Navalny, was the mildest jab in a string of epithets that primarily targeted St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko and Legislative Assembly Speaker Vadim Tyulpanov, a United Russia deputy.
The hacker called for a boycott of this year's city legislature elections, accusing the incumbent legislators and city authorities of not upholding any of their promises from previous elections. He ended his rant with the words, "Don't see any alternatives? Take home the ballot. Don't let these [explective] steal your vote!"
The web site had not been restored as of Wednesday afternoon. Zenit's press service told The Moscow Times that police had started a check, but investigators and St. Petersburg's City Hall declined to comment.
The incident coincided with the third wave of cyber attacks on LiveJournal Russia, which shut down the country's principle platform for online political discussion for several hours Wednesday morning.
The attackers targeted Navalny's blog, analysts from Internet security companies ESET and Kaspersky Lab told Vedomosti. Navalny was named as a potential target last week, but LiveJournal management said Tuesday that the entire blogging service was under attack.