Russian Soccer Player Carded for Tackling Fan

Radoslav Kovac is the midfielder for Spartak Moscow, a club you may know from countless impressive internet soccer hooligan riot videos. ("Remember: If the fans aren't ganging up twenty to one on a defenseless man, it's not real Spartak hooliganism!") He also has very little tolerance for people invading the field of play, as some poor shirtless fan did in a recent match. ↵
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↵Kovac responded just as a midfielder would: by delicately slide-tackling the man. The soccer referee responded just as half of all soccer referees do: reacting to the slightest physical contact with a hasty, ill-considered yellow card given for no reason at all. The unique thing, of course, is that Kovac got the card despite tripping someone who wasn't even in the game. ↵
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↵There's much debate in international policy circles about whether Russia really is or isn't a democracy. Our two cents? If you can't slide tackle a fan running onto the field, your country is not truly free. One positive thing to mention is that the referee at least appeared to be sober, a vast improvement over some Russian Metropolitan Area referees we know and love.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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