Alexander Kokorin Hits Russian Government Official with Chair During Fight

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2018

Saint Petersburg's forward Aleksandr Kokorin plays the ball during the Europa League Round of 16 first leg football match between Zenit Saint Petersburg and RB Leipzig on March 8, 2018 in Leipzig. / AFP PHOTO / ROBERT MICHAEL        (Photo credit should read ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBERT MICHAEL/Getty Images

Zenit St. Petersburg striker Alexander Kokorin and Krasnodar midfielder Pavel Mamaev were involved in a nasty altercation with a Russian government official that saw Kokorin appear to strike the official with a chair.

Kokorin and Mamaev were caught on camera accosting the official in a cafe in Moscow, according to Gazeta (h/t Liam Twomey of The Independent).

A Twitter user relayed footage of the incident:

The official, named as Denis Pak of the trade ministry by BBC Sport, required medical attention. "Zenit said Kokorin had behaved 'disgustingly' and Krasnodar said they were looking to end Mamaev's contract," per the same source.

An investigation is under way by the Russian interior ministry. Gazeta (h/t Twomey) spoke to a lawyer who said the pair could be sent to prison for five years if found guilty.

Gazeta also noted how staff working at the cafe in the Russian capital felt Kokorin and Mamaev were intoxicated with alcohol and possibly under the influence of drugs.

Zenit have condemned Kokorin's role in the incident.
Zenit have condemned Kokorin's role in the incident.MB Media/Getty Images

While Zenit said they won't pursue punishment for Kokorin until the legal process had been completed, the club that finished fifth in the Russian Premier League last season described "great disgust" and "indignation" at his actions.

Zenit also lamented the "dismay" and "shame" Kokorin's actions had brought upon the club's supporters.

Kokorin, 27, hit 16 goals in both domestic and UEFA Europa League action last season. He has begun this campaign by scoring the winner in Zenit's second Europa League match, a 1-0 victory over Slavia Prague earlier this month.

Like Kokorin, Mamaev is a Russia international. The 30-year-old appeared alongside Kokorin at UEFA Euro 2016.

Krasnodar are already looking for ways to sever ties with Mamaev.
Krasnodar are already looking for ways to sever ties with Mamaev.Epsilon/Getty Images

Krasnodar sound determined to end their association with the player, per BBC Sport: "Unfortunately, contracts are drawn up in such a way that they protect professional athletes to the greatest possible extent. But we will do everything to get it done."

Both the Russian government and its footballing body will be keen to act fast in reacting to an incident that has brought the game into disrepute.

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