The Russia soccer team's head coach, Fabio Capello, has argued that Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier between Russia and Montenegro, which was eventually abandoned, should have been stopped immediately after an incident in which a flare hit Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev on the back of the head in the first minute of the game.
The match was suspended after the incident, with Akinfeev being carried off on a stretcher, but resumed 35 minutes later with substitute player Yuri Lodygin replacing the injured goalkeeper.
However, the game was abandoned eventually after an unsuccessful 66th-minute penalty by Roman Shirokov and a subsequent brawl. Fans used more flares and hurled various items into the pitch. German referee Deniz Aytekin then finally stopped the match.
"I don't think that game should have resumed after Akinfeev was hit by the flare. However, it went on till the delegate stopped it. It's the UEFA delegate and not the referee team that is authorized to stop a game," Capello told Russia's Rossiya 2 television.
"As regards the game itself, were looked pretty well and had quite a lot of good moments but weren't able to net a goal. Akinfeev is feeling better. It's true he has a burn. Doctors will be a better source of other information," the coach said.
UEFA is to hand down the final verdict on the match.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.