MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian FA ordered Terek Grozny on Wednesday to play their next home game at a neutral venue after Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov called the referee a “sellout” and a “donkey” over a loudspeaker.
The Chechen club was also fined 200,000 roubles ($6,500) for the failure to provide adequate security during Sunday’s Russian league match against Rubin Kazan, the FA said on its website (www.rfs.ru).
Chechnya’s strongman leader Kadyrov admitted to insulting FIFA referee Mikhail Vilkov over the loudspeaker after he sent off Terek captain Rizvan Utsyev late in the game.
Terek said they would appeal against the decision, with Kremlin-backed Kadyrov calling the sanctions “biased and unjust”.
“I‘m only a Terek fan, one of many,” Kadyrov was quoted as saying by the local news agency Interfax.
”I‘m not the club’s boss nor am I the (Chechen FA) chief and I was at the stadium during my free time. I just expressed my own opinion about the referee.
“The only thing I regret is our fans won’t be able to watch Terek’s next game at our stadium. I think this decision to ban our stadium is biased and unjust.”
Terek could play their next home game against champions Zenit St Petersburg next Sunday in other Northern Caucasus cities such as Makhachkala or Vladikavkaz, Kadyrov said.
He said a public fund, named after Kadyrov’s late father Akhmat, who was assassinated by a bomb blast at Grozny’s old stadium in May 2004, would pay for tickets, transportation and meals for the fans at a neutral ground.
“Our fans will get a chance to see Terek’s next match no matter where it will be played,” Kadyrov said.
Critics accuse Kadyrov of ignoring Russian law and running Chechnya like a fiefdom but President Vladimir Putin has relied upon him to rein in rebels and keep order in the mostly Muslim region, still plagued by militant attacks after two wars against separatists seeking to break from Russia.
Writing by Gennady Fyodorov; Additional reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by John Mehaffey