The Russian players' union, RSFT, on Monday asked the Russian Football Union to take sanctions against Chechen club Terek Grozny after a Krasnodar Football Club striker was badly beaten in the tunnel during a league game last weekend.
"Yes, I did push the referee, and I was sent off," the 30-year-old player, Spartak Gogniyev, was quoted as saying by local media. "Well, I overreacted, it happens. But at no time did I say anything bad toward Terek fans or the club's officials."
Photos of Gogniyev's bloody face were splashed across many newspapers on Monday.
The Chechen club denied wrongdoing.
"Krasnodar captain Gogniyev was sent off in Friday's reserve game after arguing with the referee and headed for the tunnel. In there, he was apprehended by a group of men dressed in police uniforms. They grabbed him and dragged him aside, where they proceeded to beat him with batons," the RSFT said in a statement.
"The violent attack took place in sight of Terek's two vice presidents, one of whom is the Chechen sports minister. Medical examination revealed that Gogniyev suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, severe bruising and a concussion."
In a statement, the RSFT urged the Russian Football Union "to take sanctions against the assailants and introduce reforms to change the outrageous attitudes toward players."
Former Montenegro striker Nikola Nikezic, who played for Krasnodar's city rivals Kuban last season, lodged a complaint with FIFA and UEFA earlier this year saying he had been beaten up and threatened with a gun as Kuban officials tried to terminate his contract.
Kuban was fined $70,570 by the Russian Football Union, while the club's sporting director and the assistant coach received lengthy bans for their role in the incident.
Kuban settled the dispute by paying Nikezic compensation of $294,000 for the final year of his contract.