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Ex-Russia footballers in probe over cafe assault

Moscow (AFP) – The Russian interior ministry is investigating former football internationals Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev over an incident in a Moscow cafe on Monday that left a civil servant seriously injured.

“The investigation is currently establishing all the circumstances of and participants in the incident,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

Local media earlier reported that Kokorin and Mamaev, accompanied by a group of friends, attacked trade ministry official Denis Pak after he complained about their behaviour.

The footballers and friends, angered by the rebuke, reportedly threw chairs at Pak, who had to seek medical assistance before going to the police.

There will be no immediate fallout from Russia’s football federation (RFU), with official Sergei Anokhin confirming that the body was powerless to discipline Kokorin nor Mamaev as neither is under a centralised contract.

The RFU suspended the pair in July 2016 after a video emerged from a Monte Carlo nightclub where they allegedly spent $296,000 (258,000 euros) on a champagne-fuelled party following Euro 2016, where Russia flopped.

Zenit striker Kokorin, now 27, later apologised for his behaviour and was welcomed back into the national team. He has scored 12 goals in 48 matches for his country, but sat out this year’s World Cup with a knee injury. 

Krasnodar midfielder Mamaev, 30, last played for the national side at Euro 2016, when they finished bottom of their group.

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