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Russian Duma approves 7 year ban for football hooligans
June 21, 2013, 11:00 am

Firework-throwing and racist chants are commonplace at Russian football matches [AP]

Firework-throwing and racist chants are commonplace at Russian football matches [AP Images]

The lower house of Russia’s parliament has voted in favour today of amendments allowing convicted hooligans to be banned from sports events for up to seven years.

The amendments are part of a bill known as the Fan Law that authorities say is aimed at keeping the 2018 World Cup in Russia safe from hooligans.

The bill must now pass a crucial second reading in the Duma on Friday evening and then a third reading, usually a formality, set for July 3, before going to the upper house and then to President Vladimir Putin for final approval.

Bans would apply to those convicted of an offense at a sports event, with the minimum ban set at six months. Currently, there is no provision in Russian law for such a sanction.

It was not immediately clear what penalties would be available if a banned fan was found at a sports event.

The Russian sanctions are lower than those in Britain which is equally familiar with football hooliganism.

British football banning orders range from three to 10 years and include a provision to confiscate hooligans’ passports when their team plays abroad.

There were more than 14,000 offenses committed at Russian sporting events over the last three years, according to deputy sports minister Natalia Parshikova.

Firework-throwing and racist chants are commonplace at Russian football matches, while violence occasionally erupts.

Source: Agencies

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