Those attending last Saturday’s match between Russian Superleague contenders BC Lokomotiv Kuban and Dynamo Moscow in Krasnodar Sports Arena got way more than they bargained for in both positive and negative fashion.
After the hometeam Lokomotiv finally eked out the 94-91 double-overtime win after serious back-and-forth throughout the game, trouble started. Dynamo players had been griping about certain questionable calls by the referees at least through the extra periods – and in fact Dynamo officials filed an official protest with the league concerning the refereeing and the game’s outcome – leading to a scuffle between a Dynamo players and the head referee seconds after the final buzzer.
In a scene reminiscent of the mind-boggling Detroit Pistons-Indiana Pacers melee of 2004, the conflict soon engulfed coaches, Lokomotiv players and ultimately attendees.
Judgment was soon passed by the Russian Basketball Federation directorate. Regarding the Dynamo appeal, well … look, if Ireland can’t get FIFA to reconsider the biggest flubbed call in football in decades, there’s no way Dynamo Moscow gets this one back. Said the directorate: “the referee’s mistakes, in accordance with the official rules of FIBA basketball do not constitute grounds for the revision of the match.”
The refereeing team, however, has been “suspended from duty in the men’s and women’s championships in Russia” indefinitely.
And oh yes, there were fines and suspensions. Sergei Monyu got slapped with a 50,000 ruble (approximately €1,166 / $1,750) bill and a one-game suspension for aggression toward a ref; the federation press service later reported that Alexei Savrasenko would also be paying up the same amount for the same offense. Dynamo CEO George Drozdov is to pony up 1 million rubles (€23,325 / $34,650) for his player’s participation in the events. Interestingly enough, the league also ruled that “in light of the financial crisis,” Dynamo could instead choose to simply forfeit the next five games in lieu of paying the fine.
As for Lokomotiv Kuban, the directorate ruled that the team should pay 105,000 rubles (€2,450/ $3,650) for failing to provide proper security. The real killer for Lokomotiv, though, was the ruling that the team would be disallowed from hosting a quarterfinal match in the Russian Cup competition and would have to play Lokomotiv Sibirtelecom Novosibirsk on a neutral site. This judgment was appealed and overturned two days later.
Speaking after his team’s appeal was ruled upon, Lokomotiv Kuban CEO Andrei Vedishchev closed his explanation by admitting arena security was inadequate, saying simply “Мы его нарушили.” (“We broke the law.”)