The police are searching for a female Zenit fan who injured Dynamo Moscow goalkeeper Anton Shunin with a firecracker during a Russian Premier League match on Saturday, smuggling the pyrotechnics into the stands inside her body.
"During the inspection of the stadium after Dynamo’s match against Zenit, at which one of the female fans of the St. Petersburg team threw a firecracker on the pitch, injuring the Dynamo goalkeeper, the police found dozens of condoms in the ladies' room,” an unnamed source in the police force told Interfax.
The law enforcement officer explained that contraceptives are used to carry the flares into the stands inside the body, being stowed in the vagina or anus.
It’s known that the inspection of female fans at Russian stadiums is not as thorough as when it comes to men.
The police are in possession of video footage showing that it was a young woman who threw a cracker at Shunin from Zenit’s stands.
Ninety-two people, including three females, were arrested after the match, which was aborted on the 37th minute, but the perpetrator wasn’t among them.
The suspected firework thrower is to be charged with hooliganism if caught.
According Article No.213 of the Russian Criminal Code, she may be isuued a fine from 300,000 to 500,000 rubles (around US$9,500-$15,800), community service of up to two years or a jail term of up to five years.
The leaders of the Zenit fan movement were also outraged by what has happened, saying they had nothing to do with the assault on the opponents’ goalie.
“What happened in Khimki wasn’t a planned action, but a stupid act of some individuals. If they are detained, we’ll deal with them inside the fan community, because the technical defeat which we are most like to receive isn’t beneficial to anybody,” the fans’ representative told Sovetsky Sport newspaper.
Meanwhile, Russia 24 channel reports that doctors fear that Shunin may partially lose his eyesight.
In order to avoid the worst consequences, the 25-year-old may require a corneal transplant as the chemicals inside the flare severely damaged his eyes.
The keeper has been discharged from hospital and prescribed a course of antibiotics.
According to the most optimistic prognosis, he’ll be able to return to training in 10 days.
The Russian football community demands a harsh punishment for those responsible, while Dynamo and Zenit put the blame for the unpleasant incident on each other.
The Russian Premier League’s Control and Disciplinary Committee is to hold a meeting on the issue on Wednesday or Thursday to come up with a penalty for either Zenit or Dynamo, who could face a fine of a technical defeat.