Spartak Moscow goalkeeper Andrey Dikan was assaulted with a laser pen during Saturday’s derby against Dynamo, with unknown hooligans directing a green beam into his eyes during the whole 90 minutes of the match.
“I was blinded at least four times – twice in the first half, and twice in the second,” Dikan told Sovetsky Sport newspaper. “Those guys had a better position in the first half as far as I can tell. The good thing is, I was constantly moving, and it wasn’t easy to direct the laser beam straight into my eyes. But still I felt this beam four times, and those moments were uncomfortable.”
But even modern technology couldn’t prevent the Ukrainian goalie from producing a solid display, as ten-man Spartak held off Dynamo to a 1-1 draw.
“This is football, not Star Wars and such incidents should be nipped in the bud,” the 34-year-old stressed. “Those responsible for safety at stadiums must realize that. This is outrageous. Do we have to go out on the pitch blindfolded now?”
Dikan says this is not the first time he’s been assaulted in such a manner, although it has never happened in the Russian Premier League before.
“I was laser-attacked several times before,” he said. “The first time, it happened to me in the Champions League in Slovakia, when Spartak played Zhilina. But it’s the first unpleasant surprise of this kind in Russia.”
The notorious laser pens are also frequently used to blind pilots. There have been over 30 such attacks in Russia since the start of 2011, with one airman trying to land in Rostov-on-Don being blinded for over a minute.
Following a string of dangerous incidents, Russia’s lawmakers have decided to criminalize attacks with laser pens.