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Conflict in Minsk: postscript

7 November 2011, 23:46

On Monday, at the offices of the Kontinental Hockey League, the Disciplinary Committee held a meeting to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident which took place during the previous day’s game between Dinamo Minsk and Vityaz. Toward the end of the game, after Dinamo scored its third goal, some Vityaz players initiated several conflicts on the ice, after which a further confrontation took place, this time between local supporters of the Minsk team and the head coach of the visiting team.

Having heard all versions of the incident and studied all the available material (including the official game report, the report from those overseeing the game officials, a letter from the Director of Vityaz, video footage from the game, representations made by both clubs, video footage posted on the Internet, and television footage), the KHL Disciplinary Committee decided on a number of measures to be taken against those who participated in the aforementioned disorder:

- with regard to Vityaz defenseman Alexander Sazonov: the Committee decided to uphold the original punishment of a minor plus major plus game misconduct penalty (2+5+20 minutes). In accordance with KHL regulations, the player does not incur a ban from any further Championship games but will receive a fine.

- with regard to Vityaz forward Kip Brennan: the Committee upholds the original punishment of a minor plus major plus game misconduct penalty (2+5+20 minutes). In addition, Kip Brennan is banned from Vityaz’s next four Championship games and will also receive a fine.

- with regard to Vityaz forward Nick Tarnasky: the Committee upholds the original punishment of a minor plus major plus game misconduct penalty (2+5+20 minutes). In accordance with KHL regulations, the player receives an additional ban from his team’s next two games and he will also be fined.

- with regard to Vityaz forward Artemy Panarin: the Committee upholds the original punishment of a game penalty (25 minutes). The mandatory ban is for one game, and the player will also receive a fine.

- with regard to Vityaz forward Mikhail Anisin: the Committee decided to replace the original punishment of a game penalty (25 minutes) and impose instead a misconduct penalty (10 minutes).

- with regard to Vityaz head coach Andrei Nazarov: the Committee decided to rescind one punishment of a game penalty (25 minutes), for his confrontation with the spectators, and instead a game misconduct penalty (20 minutes) for ill-disciplined behavior, but to uphold the other game penalty (25 minutes) imposed on him by the officials for offensive behavior. In addition, Andrei Nazarov must pay a fine and is disqualified for two games.

The refereeing of the game was analyzed and judged to be unsatisfactory. The KHL Disciplinary Committee regretfully acknowledges that refereeing errors directly contributed to the unfortunate incidents at the end of the game. The referee and the linesmen face disciplinary action and will also be financially penalized.

The Kontinental Hockey League must also mention the ill-disciplined behavior by a group of Dinamo Minsk supporters, which was particularly unexpected in view of the good reputation earned by hockey fans in Minsk, thanks to their previous friendly and exemplary behavior, their appreciation of hockey and the respect shown towards players and coaches from all teams. While in no way excusing the behavior of some the Vityaz team, the KHL must condemn as unacceptable the actions of a certain group of spectators.

The Disciplinary Committee examined a proposal from some of its members that Dinamo Minsk should play a number of games without spectators; however, the Committee decided that it would be unjust to deprive thousands of supporters of the chance to watch their hockey team because of acts of disorder committed by a few hundred. In accordance with KHL regulations, financial sanctions will be imposed on HC Dinamo Minsk.

The Kontinental Hockey League also expresses its dissatisfaction with the performance of the Dinamo Minsk security staff, and with regard to this issue further measures will be taken.

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