This was the result of a 1-1 draw between rival Russian football teams Spartak Moscow and UEFA cup holders Zenit St. Petersburg at Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on Sunday. The game was one of the opening matches of the new season. Our Observer Vladimir Pesnya was there.
"Six hundred and fifty-nine people arrested"
Vladimir is a photographer from Moscow.
Such massive stadium fights are not that frequent in Russia. The last time it happened was a year ago in the Dynamo stadium in Moscow. There are sometimes small skirmishes between fans, and even more with the police, but not this huge, and they usually take place in parks in the suburbs before or after the match. There were 659 people arrested at this event!
The biggest rivalry in Russia is actually between Moscow teams Spartak and CSKA, which are the two teams with the biggest fan-groups in Russia. The rivalry between Spartak and Zenit comes from the rivalry between the ‘two capitals' (Moscow and St. Petersburg). The people detained on Sunday were released after signing a code of conduct and paying a fine. It should be noted that the police were not guided by any degree of guilt and arested everybody they could. Another interesting thing to note is that the conflict didn't spread outside the stadium - after the match both Spartak and Zenit fans walked down Komsomolsky Avenue without any problem."