A bus carrying Zenit fans from Saint Petersburg to an away game against Spartak Moscow has been attacked by a group of men identified as supporters of the rival team.
The incident occurred on the border between the Tver and Moscow regions on Sunday morning.
According a police source, the bus carrying the St. Pete team’s supporters was blocked in by three cars.
Several young men got out of the vehicles, threw rocks at the bus and then started beating up its passengers using baseball bats and metal bars.
Zenit’s security director confirmed that an attack had occurred, but presented a different version of events.
"We know nothing about the bats,” Yury Fedeotov, Zenit’s Security Director told BaltInfo news agency. “The club has been informed that one of the Zenit fans’ buses has been attacked by unidentified persons. Several cars in the Tver region blocked the bus and shots fromnon-lethal weapons were fired at it.”
“The vehicle is heavily damaged. Two people were injured, but it’s not serious,” he added.
Meanwhile, the police have managed to stop all three vehicles involved in the attack. Six men, reported to be Spartak Moscow fans, have been arrested. A criminal case has been launched with the perpetrators being charged with deliberate destruction or damage to property and hooliganism.
Spartak are hosting arch-rivals Zenit in the Russian Premier League match on Sunday, with around 2,500 police ensuring security at the Luzhniki stadium.
It is not the first time a St. Pete supporters’ bus has been attacked this season. Back in May, a car blocked the coach’s way and attackers pierced one of its tires before making off.