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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spartak Surprised

MOSCOW () -- Officials from the Spartak Central Sports Club were surprised Thursday to hear that Mayor Yuri Luzhkov had signed a decree the previous day allowing their soccer club to sign players without paying statutory fees to the city.

Previously Spartak has had to pay up to 700 million rubles ($147,000) per man to the city government for a work and residence permit (propiska), to bring in players from outside Moscow, Reuters reported.

"It's news to me," said Viktor Galin, vice-president of the society that runs Spartak sports clubs in the city. He added that he couldn't comment on whether the move would significantly help the team until he saw the decree.