Russia demands win after Montenegro qualifier called off
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has demanded to be awarded a victory after its European championship qualifier against Montenegro was abandoned due to attacks on Russian players.
The match in Podgorica, Montenegro, was abandoned at 0-0 on 67 minutes on Friday after Russia’s Dmitry Kombarov was hit by an object, sparking a brawl between players.
The game had previously been suspended in the first minute when goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was was struck in the head by a flare, requiring hospital treatment.
Russian Football Union president Nikolai Tolstykh said in a statement that his organization would file a protest to UEFA and that “in our view, it should be a technical defeat for Montenegro.”
He added that the match should have been abandoned following the attack on Akinfeev, but that UEFA match delegate Barry Bright overruled Russia’s objections.
“The Russian national team was forced to continue the game, but I want to emphasize that we warned the delegate and UEFA that we would submit a protest,” Tolstykh said.
In addition to the attacks on Akinfeev and Kombarov, the RFU said that Russia midfielder Alan Dzagoev had been struck by coins thrown from the stands while receiving medical treatment for a thigh injury.
Akinfeev was treated in a hospital in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica for minor burns and a neck injury. The RFU said Saturday the CSKA Moscow keeper had also suffered concussion but would be able to return to Russia with the rest of the team.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who’s been worrying about me. I feel fine,” Akinfeev said on the RFU website. “It turns out that even this kind of thing happens in football. I hope that nothing similar ever happens again, neither in Montenegro nor in any other country in the world.”