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    Russian Football Team Kuban Fined $15K for Flag-Burning

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    The Russian football association's disciplinary committee has fined top-flight side FC Kuban $15,000 for desecration of the Dagestani flag after the team's fans were photographed burning it during a game against Anzhi Makhachkala this week.

    MOSCOW, October 31 (R-Sport) - The Russian football association's disciplinary committee has fined top-flight side FC Kuban $15,000 for desecration of the Dagestani flag after the team's fans were photographed burning it during a game against Anzhi Makhachkala this week.

    Pictures of the incident in Kuban's 2-0 victory in Krasnodar on Monday were posted on Anzhi's official Twitter account with the accompanying message: "We will demand the punishment of these jerks."

    "For the unlawful behavior of the supporters, the disciplinary committee has made the decision to fine FC Kuban 500,000 rubles [$15,000]. The incident was not included in the match delegate's report, so we examined this complaint only from media reports," said the committee's chairman, Artur Grigoryants.

    Kuban has identified the culprits and punished them for illegal use of pyrotechnics rather than burning the flag, Grigoryants said, without elaborating on what exact sanctions were implemented or disclosing the names of the individuals.

    The desecration of the 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 its natives and Slavic Russians.

    Last month Zenit St. Petersburg escaped a stadium ban and was hit with the same fine - $15,000 - after fans set a Chechen flag on fire during a game against Terek Grozny. Several people were detained, but only one fan was charged, receiving a 1,000 ruble ($30) fine for petty hooliganism.

    Tags:
    Hooliganism, Terek Grozny, FC Kuban, Anzhi Makhachkala, Zenit, Artur Grigoryants, North Caucasus, Krasnodar
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