Russia internationals Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev jailed for hooliganism

By Mirror: Thursday, May 9th 2019 at 07:45 GMT +3 | Football
Kokorin and Mamaev in action for Russia [Courtesy]

Russia internationals Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev have been jailed for hooliganism.

The pair have been sentenced for their involvement in assaults last year.

Zenit St Petersburg striker Kokorin has been sentenced to 18 months in jail by Moscow's Presnensky District Court, while Krasnodar star Mamaev was ordered to serve 17 months after months of hearings.

Kokorin and Mamaev, who played in Russia's top division and with the national team before their arrest, had been in custody since October 2018 over drunken assaults that prompted strong reactions from the authorities.

The two players were caught taking part in an assault against two civil servants, including a trade ministry official, and an altercation with the driver of a TV presenter.

The two had pleaded for leniency and asked for forgiveness as fans groups called on the authorities not to ruin their careers.

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Sports minister Pavel Kolobkov said he hoped their story would serve as a lesson to other Russian athletes.

"High-level athletes work 365 days a year: they train, prepare and there is no such thing as free time between competitions during which they can drink alcohol," RIA quoted Kolobkov as saying.

"I hope that this will serve as a lesson for them, for all and for all other athletes."

Once viewed as a rising star of Russian football, the Kokorin, 28, has made more headlines off the pitch than on it in the last few years.

In one of these scandals, he and Mamaev were demoted to their clubs' reserve teams after a champagne-fuelled party in Monaco following Russia's early exit from Euro 2016.

After being snubbed from the national side for nearly a year, Kokorin was sidelined from last year's World Cup because of a knee injury.