October 12, 2018 / 8:22 AM / 8 days ago

Russia arrests professional soccer players over violent attacks

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Moscow court ordered the arrest of Russian soccer internationals Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamayev late on Thursday after they were charged over violent attacks in central Moscow.

Russian soccer player Alexander Kokorin, who was detained and accused of carrying out attacks, sits inside a defendants' cage during a court hearing in Moscow, Russia October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Zenit St Petersburg forward Kokorin and Krasnodar midfielder Mamayev could face jail and will be held in custody for two months over the attacks captured on CCTV on Oct. 8.

Footage circulated widely by Russian media shows a man being kicked and punched by a group of people and another incident in which two civil servants appeared to be assaulted in a cafe. The two footballers were present at both incidents.

Russian soccer player Pavel Mamayev, who was detained and accused of carrying out attacks, reacts inside a defendants' cage during a court hearing in Moscow, Russia October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

The court also ordered Kokorin’s younger brother, Kirill, be held for two months.

The three men have been charged with hooliganism, the court said, which carries a jail term of up to seven years.

Kokorin told the court he repented and apologised to one of the victims, but the court rejected his lawyer’s request to release him pending trial, RIA news agency reported.

The soccer players also face possible sanctions from their clubs. [nL8N1WQ567]

Kokorin has 48 caps for Russia but missed this year’s World Cup in his home country with a knee injury. Mamayev has represented the national team 15 times but also was not included on the world cup squad.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Peter Graff

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