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Alcohol Banned for One Day in Khimki Ahead of Champions League Match

The opposition fanzone in Khimki arena at a game against Spartak.

All sales of alcoholic drinks were prohibited Wednesday in Moscow's northern suburb of Khimki ahead of the UEFA Champions League soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Germany's Bayern Munich, the Interior Ministry said.

The one-day prohibition, aimed at preventing crowd violence, follows an incident during a Champions League match last month when CSKA fans racially abused Manchester City's Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure.

The incident prompted UEFA to close a section of Arena Khimki, the stadium that will host Wednesday's game. The closed section usually houses CSKA's hardcore fans.

About 16,000 people are expected to attend the match, and more than 950 police officers will be on duty to keep the peace, the Interior Ministry said in a website statement.

Supporters have been advised to arrive at the stadium at least 1 ½ hours ahead of kick off, because police searches will be more thorough than usual, the statement said. The match starts at 7 p.m. local time.

The authorities have also banned drinking, smoking and the use of pyrotechnics at the stadium, and drunk people will be barred from attending the game.

President Vladimir Putin's government has been eager to control racism and crowd violence, rampant during Russian soccer games, as the country prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the 2018 soccer World Cup.

In another unsavory incident, fans unfurled a Nazi banner and threw flares at a Russian Cup match last month between Spartak Moscow and Shinnik Yaroslavl.

The two teams were fined and ordered to play several matches behind closed doors.

The deputy chief of the Russian Football Union, Nikita Simonyan, suggested that Russia should follow strict measures introduced by Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to curb soccer fans' violence.

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