Russian football club Dynamo have come under fire over their poor performance… literally. Three players have been injured as a group of alleged angry fans shot paintball guns at the team while they were training outdoors.
The team were training at their base just outside Moscow when they heard shots being fired. It took players some time to realize paint bullets were reigning down.
After the attack was over the perpetrators threw smoke pellets before leaving.
The prank left four people injured, including the goalkeeper Anton Shunin, and the coach of the junior team.
“I am still shocked! I have a little child, we all have families… What if they had seriously harmed someone, what`s next?” said halfback Alan Gatagov, who was hit in the head during the shooting.
“This was very ignoble thing to do. Fans are supposed to support, not do things like this. This is very unpleasant.” he added.
The hooligans also left flyers calling on the teams high-paid players German Kevin Kurányi, Argentinian Leo Fernandez, Equadorian Christian Noboa and Hungarian Balázs Dzsudzsák, demanding them to play better and “be more active in trainings and official matches.”
Dynamo Moscow’s performance has been far from perfect recently. After 11 games the top-flight team has only gained 9 points and currently occupies 13th place.
Dynamo officials vow to respond harshly to the attack by “the bunch of thugs.” In its official statement the team management said they are absolutely sure “the action was preplanned and organized.”
“The club is being challenged and we will respond with maximum toughness,” the statement said.
The club has video footage of the assault and will try to identify the attackers, said the president of the club Gennady Solovyov.
Police are investigating the attack.
Meanwhile, the official fan club denies any involvement in the shocking incident. The shootout was organized by provocateurs, General Manager of the official Dynamo fan-club, Vsevolod Alekseev, said. “No official fans have anything to do with these events. Moreover they are outraged by what happened,” he said.
Another fan leader also denounced the actions of the attackers, saying that official fans would never let anything like this happen. “We always act in an orderly manner and within the law. If we have any issues within the players, we discuss them openly and solve the problems,” he said.
A month ago a group of fans came to the training site and addressed the team. The video of this address has been circulating on the Web ever since.
The fans accused Kurányi, Noboa and other players of spending too much time in nightclubs neglecting their responsibilities, threatening the footballers that they are going to be beaten if spotted in a club again at any time during the championship.
What was said may have had some impact as since then the team has been showing progress, with Dynamo winning two out of three games in the last month.
Dynamo Moscow is the fifth most popular football club in Russia. Its fan movement is one of the oldest in the country taking its origins in the 1970s.