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06:13 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Zenit Eats Up 50% of Petersburg Incapacity Benefit

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Russian lawmakers are launching an investigation into how 12 Zenit St. Petersburg players drained half of the social insurance budget of the city in 2011.

Russian lawmakers are launching an investigation into how 12 Zenit St. Petersburg players drained half of the social insurance budget of the city in 2011.

About $5.2 million was paid out as incapacity benefit to Zenit players who were recovering from injury and unable to work last year, officials have said.

The payments, which amounted to $7,477 per day per player, appear to roughly correspond with the legally stipulated 0.2 percent of a monthly salary.

Nevertheless, the chairman of the social policy committee Valery Ryazansky said the fact that 50 percent of the benefit fund was used up on 12 people was "outrageous."

“The Federation Council will hold a service check of this outrageous fact before October 26 and suggest measures of a legislative character,” Ryazansky said.

Sergei Afanasev, the chairman of the fund, said that Zenit had agreed in principle to cease registering injuries as temporary incapacity.

Federation Council Chairwoman and former St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matvienko commented that professional football players should be insured at the expense of the clubs who shell out millions for them.