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Linesman banned for assaulting player

A Chechen assistant referee has been banned for life after attacking a player during a Russian reserve game.

The assault took place at the end of Sunday's clash between Amkar Perm and Terek in Grozny.

An infuriated Musa Kadyrov dropped his flag and ran onto the pitch before assaulting Amkar defender Ilya Krichmar. Terek players soon joined in the attack and a mass brawl on the pitch ensued.

"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."

Kadyrov claimed afterwards that Krichmar had insulted him, but the player has denied the allegation.

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

Despite Kadyrov's claim, the local Russian authorities decided to take swift action against the assistant referee to ensure that he never officiates a match again.

"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 football chief Lom-Ali Ibragimov told R-Sport.

Former FIFA referee Alexei Spirin, who was working as an assessor on Sunday's match, was appalled by what he saw.

"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 [and] even worse, attacked a player. On a scale of one to ten, I'd give him a zero and I'm writing a special report. He should not be allowed to officiate again."

When asked if he would attend the Russian Cup final in Grozny on June 1 if invited by Chechen officials, Krichmar said: "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. We always had bodyguards with machine guns around us. The food was good as well, but..."


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