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Swastika-Flag-Waving Supporter Told to Pay Spartak Moscow $40,000

A court in the city of Vladimir has ordered a Spartak Moscow fan to pay the football club 1.4 million rubles ($40,000).

It is the first time that a Russian club has successfully sued a fan for such a large sum of money, reported Tuesday.

The fan, who was not present at the Leninsky District Court for the ruling, was caught on CCTV holding aloft a swastika flag at a Russian Cup match against Shinnik Yaroslavl in October.

The match had to be suspended for about 30 minutes after fireworks, flares and seats were thrown onto the pitch during the second half.

Police used water cannons on the brawling fans, about 30 of whom were detained.

Spartak won the match 1-0 thanks to a goal from Russian international left-back Dmitry Kombarov.

The Russian Football Association, or RFA, fined Spartak $18,500 and blocked its fans from attending two games as a punishment for the riots.

The ban was applied to home fixtures against rivals Zenit St. Petersburg and Lokomotiv Moscow. Spartak's billionaire owner, Leonid Fedun, said his club missed out on $1.4 million in gate receipts, RIA Novosti reported.

The RFA barred Shinnik fans from three home matches for the same incident.

Spartak had hoped the court would order Yefimov to stump up $450,000, but a lower figure was settled on.

The club also filed a claim against a second Spartak fan, who invaded the pitch during the match against Shinnik.

The Moscow region's Lyubertsy District Court rejected the claim, but Spartak plans to appeal the decision.

Fans racially abusing players and displaying right-wing allegiances during matches involving Russian teams is a recurring problem. Last week, UEFA ordered CSKA Moscow to play its next European fixture behind closed doors after its supporters displayed 'racist and far-right symbols' at a game against Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen in December.

UEFA imposed a partial stadium closure on CSKA for one Champions League game last year after its fans subjected Manchester City midfielder and Ivorian national Yaya Toure to monkey chants.

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