Footballers from Russia and Ukraine fought in a Turkish hotel when they were put there after the country's devastating earthquake.
Players from Russian second division side Shinnik Yaroslavl and Ukrainian top tier outfit FC Minaj had to share the same accommodation after the 7.8 magnitude tremor. The death toll in Turkey and Syria has surpassed 35,000, but the number of fatalities is expected to keep rising.
As war wages on following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a huge brawl broke out between the two teams. The fights escalated so badly, some players reportedly suffered broken bones during the brawl.
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According to Ukrainian outlet Zorya Londonsk, tensions began to escalate when a Minak player made a remark about a Russian player’s behaviour, feeling they were acting inappropriately towards a member of hotel staff. Reports also claimed the Ukrainian punched the Russian star after he refused to apologise for his conduct.
Team-mates from both sides then became involved, prompting a stand off in one of the corridors. Russian media has claimed four players from Shinnik Yaroslavl were left with potential bone fractures. Police and ambulance workers arrived on the scene to defuse the situation and treat the injured players.
Soon after the incident, a statement from FC Minaj was released, claiming the fracas was instigated by the Russian players. “Yesterday, February 13th, a fight took place in the Turkish Royal Sigunas hotel involving FC ‘Minaj’ and representatives of country 404 – Shinnik Yaroslavl.
“The cause of the fight was the disgraceful behaviour of the football players of the Russian team towards the hotel employees and provocative shouts towards the players of Minaj.
“The information from Russian propaganda media about the fact that the players of Minaj forced the Shinnik players to sing the Ukraine national anthem & beat the players in the lift is a traditional delusion. The fight did take place, but already on the floor where the Russians lived and in equal numbers.
“After the end of the skirmish, when the people of Minaj were in their rooms, the Russians continued fighting among themselves. Those who tried to stop the clash were accused of supporting Ukraine. Local police had to intervene and calm down the Russians.” The Russian side were evicted from the hotel shortly after the incident and relocated to another hotel within the area.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian team were allowed to stay and even went out to train as they originally planned. Tensions between the two countries are still extremely high after Russia's invasion on February 24 2022.
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