Fans held after violence in Russian Stadium
Russian football has been thrown into another scandal after a match between Spartak Moscow and Shinnik Yaroslavl on Wednesday was marred by crowd trouble which saw a Nazi flag unfurled.
Spartak fans were seen to throw flares and smoke bombs, and clashed with police after the half-time break, before being caught on camera holding up a Nazi banner in the stands.
"We believe that it was a planned provocation," Nikolay Trifonov, the head of the interior ministry in the Yaroslavl region said on Thursday. "We have no complaints about the Shinnik fans, all the provocations came from Spartak fans. After the match we detained 78 people."
Referee Sergey Kostevic called a halt to the game on the 53rd minute as police restored order with the use of water cannons and restarted it over 20 minutes later. The final score was 1-0 with Spartak winning thanks to a Dmitri Kombarov penalty.
The incident is the latest high-profile problem in the country -- after Yaya Toure reported CSKA for racist chanting -- as it prepares to host the 2014 Olympics and the 2018 World Cup. The Russian FA's disciplinary committee will hold a meeting on Friday with Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko claiming earlier that the football authorities should be held responsible.