NAZRAN (Ingushetia), October 24 (RIA Novosti) – Police in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia have prevented clashes between fans of a local second-tier team and a rival team from neighboring North Ossetia.
During a Russian National Football League match between FC Angusht Nazran and FC Alania Vladikavkaz on Wednesday, some 200 Ingush fans attempted to attack a small group of visiting fans from North Ossetia reportedly throwing stones and glass bottles at them.
Ingush police downplayed the scale of the incident but admitted that N. Ossetian fans had to be escorted from the stadium under protection by law enforcement officers during the intermission and driven to the border with North Ossetia in an armored truck.
At least eight Angusht fans were detained and questioned in connection with the incident, the police said.
N. Ossetian Prime Minister Sergei Takoyev, who attended the game in Nazran, said in an interview with Russia’s Sovetsky Sport newspaper on Wednesday that he was shocked by this “unprecedented” incident.
“It’s unmanly and against Caucasus traditions to treat neighbors in such a way,” Takoyev said. “In essence, they destroyed the notion of Caucasus hospitality today.”
Takoyev said that Ingush Prime Minister Ibragim Malsagov, who also attended the game, had already apologized for the incident and promised to punish the instigators of the attack.
President of the National Football League, Igor Yefremov, told Sovetsky Sport that an investigation into the incident had been launched, stressing that all previous games in Nazran were “impeccable” security-wise.
The Sovetsky Sport speculated that violence at the game could have been fuelled by long-running tensions between the two autonomous republics over a disputed border region that was the scene of fierce clashes in 1992 between Ingush armed groups and Ossetian policemen.