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Russian league condemns fans' strip search

Thursday, August 07, 2014

MOSCOW - The Russian Premier League has condemned the treatment of female fans who say they were subjected to a strip search by police in order to attend a football match in the World Cup 2018 host city of Kazan.

Several Spartak Moscow fans have claimed police in Kazan refused to allow female fans into the stadium for Friday's match against Rubin Kazan unless they stripped for a search.

In a blog post which has gone viral among Russian internet users, fan Ekaterina Stepanova says the searches, carried out by male police officers, constituted "humiliation."

Female fans were singled out and "required to strip, and that includes being demanded to remove their underwear" for a search lasting up to 10 minutes, she added.

One female fan told local media she left the stadium rather than submit to the searches, while Stepanova said she refused to strip but was made to wait an hour and a half before being allowed in.

The league's safety director Alexander Meitin blasted the "rough treatment" in comments to the R-Sport agency, adding the league and Spartak had submitted formal complaints.

Kazan police say all searches at the game were legal and that only fans suspected of carrying contraband were searched.

Spartak fans used smoke bombs during the game, the first Premier League fixture of the season which they won 4-0.

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