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Ex-Russia captain Roman Shirokov hospitalises referee in brutal attack

After being shown a red card, Roman Shirokov punched the match official Nikita Danchenko in the face, knocked him to the floor, and repeatedly kicked him in the stomach while on the deck.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: August 12, 2020 7:53:29 am
Roman Shirokov expressed his regret over the incident later on social media. (Source: Reuters, Screengrab)

Roman Shirokov, former Russia captain and Zenit St-Petersburg icon, is facing criminal prosecution after attacking a referee whilst playing in an amateur competition on Monday.

The 39-year-old former midfielder won 57 international caps for the national team and played in three UEFA European Championships in his career. He won the 2008 UEFA Cup at the club level.

While playing in the quarter-final of the Moscow Celebrity Cup, Shirokov got into a brawl with the match official after not being awarded a penalty.

After getting back on his feet, he yelled at the referee Nikita Danchenko, who promptly approached the player to show a card. As the official duly drew a red card, Shirokov punched him in the face, knocked him to the floor, and continued to repeatedly kick him in the stomach while on the deck.

Soon after, opponents intervened in the altercation and separated the two before the official was treated on the field by medical staff.

According to reports, Danchenko suffered a broken eyebrow as well as other bruising. The match was abandoned.

“I spent four to four and a half hours in the hospital, then another 15-20 minutes in the emergency room,” Danchenko detailed on Instagram. “They put stitches everywhere, did a bunch of examinations.”

“Most importantly, everything seems to be fine with me. What does not kill you will make you stronger, as they say.”

Shirokov posted an apology on social media and expressed his regret over the incident. “I would like to express my sincere apologies to Nikita for such an inappropriate act committed by me,” he said.

“I am well aware that not assigning an obvious penalty and then the red card shown cannot be a reason for waving his hands, I hope Nikita as soon as possible will return to service.”

As the tournament is not linked with either the Russian Football Union or the Moscow Football Federation, Shirokov is unlikely to face any football sanction.

But, he may face criminal proceedings in the future.

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