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Russia to punish #WorldCup stewards over pitch invasion during final

Stewards chase pitch invaders during the World Cup Final match in Moscow. Photo: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Stewards chase pitch invaders during the World Cup Final match in Moscow. Photo: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Published Jul 20, 2018

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MOSCOW – Russian authorities intend to punish several stewards over the pitch invasion during the World Cup final, the head of the tournament's organizing committee said in an interview published Friday.

“This is a violation. Disciplinary measures will be applied against the stewards,” Alexei Sorokin told the Sport Express newspaper.

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He did not elaborate on what the punishment could be.

“The stewards acted unprofessionally, but it isn't worth accusing them of something extreme,” Sorokin said.

A pitch invader runs riot during the World Cup Final match. Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters

As the pitch invaders were wearing law enforcement uniforms, it was understandable that they could have been difficult to detect, Sorokin said, explaining: “We all grew up with respect for the uniform.”

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Four members of the political punk band Pussy Riot ran onto the pitch during the final between France and Croatia in Moscow last weekend.

They were found guilty of a misdemeanour violation of spectator conduct and sentenced to 15 days in jail.

Pussy Riot became famous in 2012 when two of its members were imprisoned for more than a year for hooliganism over a protest in a prominent Moscow cathedral.

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