World of Sport

Linesman banned for life for shocking assault on player

World of Sport

Chechen linesman Musa Kadyrov was banned for life on Monday after assaulting a player in a Russian league match.

The incident occurred at the end of Sunday's reserve game in Grozny between Amkar Perm and local side Terek when a raging Kadyrov dropped his flag and ran on to the pitch, attacking startled Amkar defender Ilya Krichmar.

"The ref blew the final whistle and I started walking to our bench when suddenly someone came from behind, pushed me to the ground and began kicking and punching me," the 18-year-old player told reporters.

"Terek players then joined the attack. Someone grabbed me by the throat, another hit me...bloodying my face.

Thank God, my team mates came to the rescue. Special thanks to Vlasov from Terek. We had known each other from a youth academy in St Petersburg and he helped me escape."

Local authorities took swift action.

"He has only worked on a regional level but we made a decision to ban him for life, therefore he won't be able to officiate matches at any level," Chechen soccer chief Lom-Ali Ibragimov was quoted as saying by local outlet R-Sport.

Kadyrov said Krichmar had insulted him but the player denied the allegation.

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"We weren't happy with the officiating, words had been exchanged but I had never said anything personal about him or his mother," he said. "I know how sensitive Chechen people are."

Former FIFA referee Alexei Spirin, who was working as an assessor of Sunday's match, was shocked by the episode.

"In all my refereeing career I have never seen anything like it. This guy should not be a referee," Spirin said.

"He had no clue about rules, even worse, attacked a player. On a scale of one to 10, I'd give him a zero and I'm writing a special report. He should not be allowed to officiate again."

Krichmar was asked if he would attend the Russian Cup final in Grozny on June 1 if invited by Chechen officials.

"No, I would not go. I could still feel some hatred there after the (Chechen) war, although we had no problem with security in Grozny," Krichmar said. "We always had bodyguards with machine guns around us. The food was good as well, but..."

Sunday's incident was the latest in a series of violent attacks on players in Russian soccer.

Krasnodar striker Spartak Gogniyev suffered a broken nose and fractured ribs after being attacked by Terek officials at a reserve game in Grozny in Nov. 2011.

Gogniyev was given a six-game ban and fined $1,600 by the Russian FA for pushing the referee. The world players' union FIFPro criticised the decision to punish the player.

Former Montenegro striker Nikola Nikezic lodged a complaint with FIFA and UEFA in 2011, saying he had been forced to end his contract with Kuban Krasnodar after being beaten up and threatened with a gun.

Reuters

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