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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Soccer Board Red Cards Dinamo President

The Russian Football Union on Tuesday banned Dinamo Moscow soccer team president Nikolai Tolstykh for the season and recommended that the Professional Football League review his role as its president following an assault on a referee last week in Dinamo's locker room.


The disciplinary committee of the RFU, the overall governing body for Russian soccer, spent over two hours deciding Tolstykh's fate behind closed doors.


"The great majority of the 16-member committee ruled in favor of suspension," said chairman Viktor Marushak.


The committee also ruled that Dinamo, one of Russia's top teams and a European Cup Winners' Cup quarterfinalist this season, may not play its next three league home games in its own stadium.


"We could have chosen to fine the club 5 million rubles (about $1,000), the maximum amount allowed in the bylaws, but we felt that at today's prices a three-game suspension is worth a lot more," said Marushak.


Dinamo will now have to pay for rent, security and support personnel at a neutral field, probably Lokomotiv Stadium.


Tolstykh, who has been at the center of a dispute over control of Russian soccer, also came under fire last season, when Spartak Moscow's president Oleg Romantsev said Dinamo was getting preferential treatment from referees who were intimidated by Tolstykh's power as league president.


After a 1-1 draw between Dinamo and Spartak-Alania on March 24, Tolstykh ordered referee Yury Chebotaryov to enter Dinamo's dressing room. Tolstykh accused the referee of bias in awarding Alania a disputed penalty kick, which it converted, leading to the tie.


The referee, who emerged several minutes later bleeding from a cut lip, said he had been punched by an unknown assailant.


It is still not clear who struck the referee. Chebotaryov said he lost consciousness for "half a minute" but was hit from behind and did not see who threw the punch, adding that he was told that he had been struck by a team "I felt that I made the proper call then, and after a week, with tempers subsiding, I still think I was right," he said.


The RFU panel that oversees referees looked into last week's officiating and deadlocked 3-3 on the penalty call.


Valery Butenko, a former international referee and chairman of a separate committee that oversees referees, was more vocal about the incident.


"I think that Chebotaryov made his only mistake when he allowed himself to be led into Dinamo's locker room," said Butenko.


Besides punishing Tolstykh and Dinamo, the RFU disciplinary committee reprimanded Adamas Golodets, Dinamo's coach, and Ivan Mozer, the club's director. Both men were present during the assault.


The RFU disciplinary committee called for a hearing on Chebotaryov's work in the game, as well as on Alexander Tabakov, who assessed the match and gave Chebotaryov a failing grade.