MOSCOW, October 30 (R-Sport) – The Russian republic of Dagestan’s Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala has filed a bitter complaint with football authorities after apparent supporters of southern rivals FC Kuban were photographed burning the Dagestani flag.
Pictures of the incident after Monday's 2-0 loss to Kuban in Krasnodar were posted to Anzhi's official Twitter account with the accompanying message: "We will demand the punishment of these jerks."
"We want the investigation to end as it should: according to the corresponding legislative framework," said Anzhi PR director Alexander Udaltsov in comments to R-Sport.
Udaltsov said several fans had been detained after the game and the culprits would be identified by security cameras. "We have asked for help from the Russian Premier League, and from Kuban," he added.
Kuban, meanwhile, denied that the fans in question had any association with the club.
"This incident bears no relation to the supporters who back Kuban," said Kuban spokesman Vyacheslav Ivanov. "If this really took place, all measures will be taken to identify those responsible."
The desecration of flags associated with Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus region is nothing new to Russian football, and is one of the most visible manifestations of the ethnic tensions between Slavic Russians and natives of the North Caucasus region, which includes the republics of Dagestan and Chechnya.
Last month Zenit St. Petersburg escaped a stadium ban and was hit with a modest $15,000 fine after fans set a Chechen flag on fire during a game against the republic’s team Terek Grozny. Several people were detained but only one fan was charged, receiving a 1,000 ruble ($31) fine for petty hooliganism.