Support The Moscow Times!

Medvedev Condemns Firecracker Thrower

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that the soccer fan who threw a firecracker that burned the eyes of a Dynamo Moscow goalkeeper should "go to jail."

"We cannot take such behavior lightly. We must send [the perpetrator] to jail," Medvedev said at his Gorki residence in comments carried by Interfax. "I hope police catch whoever is responsible."

A Premier League match in Khimki on Saturday against Zenit St. Petersburg was abandoned after the firecracker exploded in front of goalkeeper Anton Shunin late in the first half. Several fans were detained but released due to a lack of evidence.

Medvedev instructed Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to propose ways that laws can be toughened to prevent such incidents in the future. Police have opened a criminal case on hooliganism charges, foreseeing a maximum punishment of five years behind bars.

In a statement Sunday, investigators said 10 Zenit fans had been detained based on surveillance footage. But by Monday, three women who were the principal suspects had been released because the footage's quality was too poor, Interfax reported.

Medvedev called the incident "disgusting" on his Facebook page and asked for suggestions on how to prevent such incidents.

Respondents said to criminalize the use of firecrackers during matches, create a blacklist of fans who cause problems and sell tickets only when passports are shown.

Read more

The need for honest and objective information on Russia is more relevant now than ever before!

To keep our newsroom in Moscow running, we need your support.