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Fights Between Fans as Crowd Trouble Halts Russian Premier League Match

Fights broke out between fans who managed to climb over barriers and onto the running track that surrounded the pitch.

Fighting between rival fans forced a Russian Premier League match between Arsenal Tula and Torpedo Moscow to be stopped for seven minutes on Sunday.

A statement on Arsenal's official site said: "In the 31st minute, fans from the visiting Moscow club broke down barriers in front of the visitors sector and tried to get to the East Stand, where a number of women and children were sitting.

"The Torpedo fans began breaking seats and throwing them towards law enforcement officers and stewards."

Referee Alexander Yegorov stopped the match and told the players to leave the pitch and head for the dressing rooms, while fights broke out between fans on the running track after they managed to climb over barriers.

After order was restored play resumed and Torpedo ran out 3-1 winners.

Sergei Cheban, executive director of the Russian Football Premier League, said Torpedo could expected to be heavily punished for this latest outbreak of violence by their fans.

"Those people who organized the trouble have already been detained. The security forces on duty were very professional in their work," said Cheban in an interview with Championat.com.

"Torpedo can expect to receive serious punishment. This is hooliganism and it not the first time they have stopped a match. The punishment will be harsh."

Torpedo's fans have caused trouble on a number of occasions, and the club have already been punished three times this season for racist behavior of their supporters.

The last incident occurred on March 15 when Torpedo fans abused Zenit St. Petersburg's Brazilian forward Hulk. The side were sanctioned by having to play two matches behind closed doors.

Torpedo are currently in 12th place in the Russian Premier League table with 19 points, while Arsenal Tula are one place off the bottom with 14 points.

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