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Football Fans Warned Against Earning Negative Reputation

Russian lawmakers expressed concern Tuesday that Russian football fans could become undesirables at matches abroad after rowdy supporters were thrown off a Manchester-bound flight.

An EasyJet airliner full of CSKA Moscow football fans bound for a Champions League game in Manchester was forced Monday to divert to Denmark to remove a drunken passenger from the flight after he allegedly started shoving staff.

Another six Russian fans who complained about the man's treatment were also ejected from the plane just minutes before take-off from Copenhagen Airport. The incident delayed the remaining 146 passengers onboard by more than an hour, the Manchester Evening News said.

Igor Ananskikh, who chairs the sports committee of the State Duma, said such an incident could ruin Russian fans' reputation abroad.

"Decades ago, Europe shuddered to think about English fans. I want to believe that this incident will not affect Russian fans," said Ananskikh.

Ernest Valeyev, deputy head of the State Duma's security committee warned that "all those guilty will be held liable, according to the law."

The Sports Ministry and the Russian Football Union have been asked to devise a plan to improve fans' behavior in the run-up to Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup. President Vladimir Putin signed into law legislation in June that will ban convicted hooligans from sports events for up to seven years.

Russian Premier League team Spartak offered a reward last week for information about fans who displayed a Nazi swastika flag at a match, leading to the side being penalized by having to play two games without spectators.

The incident occurred the same day as European football's governing body, UEFA, handed a partial stadium ban to another Moscow team, CSKA, for alleged racist chanting by fans at a Champions League game last month.

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