Zenit St Petersburg ‘absolutely condemn’ striker Alexander Kokorin for hitting government official with a chair in Moscow café

Zenit St Petersburg have condemned star striker Alexander Kokorin, who faces criminal prosecution for hitting a government official with a chair in a Moscow café.

Russia international Kokorin, together with Krasnodar midfielder Pavel Mamaev, was captured on security cameras attacking the man as he ate breakfast at a table in the corner of the room.

The pair were behaving rowdily and café employees thought they were drunk and had taken drugs, according to a report by Russian daily newspaper Gazeta.

Gazeta also reported that two high-ranking government officials ended up in hospital as a result of the attack, with one losing a tooth, and Moscow police are investigating. 

In a statement issued on their official website, Zenit confirmed Kokorin’s involvement and said they are considering their disciplinary options.

“Regarding yesterday’s incident in Moscow involving Alexander Kokorin, we absolutely condemn the actions of those involved, it has caused outrage within our club and we are waiting for a legal assessment from the relevant authorities, but from a personal point of view, such behaviour is truly shocking,” the statement said.

“We are now considering what punishment the club will take against the player and action will be forthcoming in the near future. At this present time, the club and the supporters are very disappointed that one of the country’s most talented footballers has behaved in such a manner.”

A Russian lawyer quoted by Gazeta claimed that, if found guilty of the attack, Kokorin and Mamaev will face up to five years in prison.

Neither man represented Russia at the 2018 World Cup

– Kokorin missed out due to injury after tearing his ACL for Zenit in March – but minister of sport Pavel Kolobkov said their international careers are most likely over if their guilt is proven.

“If professional athletes are really involved in this, Zenit attacker Alexander Kokorin and Krasnodar midfielder Pavel Mamaev, then this is unacceptable – unsportsmanlike behaviour, which casts a shadow on all Russian football,” Kolobkov told Russian news agency Tass.

“These guys are not playing in the Russian national team and, apparently, will never be.”

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