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Make football hooliganism a sport: Lebedev

Russian lawmaker takes a leaf from Euro violence

Gulf News

Moscow: A Russian lawmaker has proposed an unorthodox solution to the country’s football hooliganism woes ahead of next year’s World Cup — legalise it and turn it into a spectator sport. Organised groups of Russian fans, many with martial arts training, fought English fans on the streets of Marseille during last year’s European Championship. That inspired Igor Lebedev, who sits in the Russian parliament, to draw up rules for what he calls “draka,” the Russian word for “fight” — 20 fighters on each side, unarmed, in an arena. In a statement on the website of the nationalist LDPR party, Lebedev says organised brawls “could turn fans’ aggression in a peaceful direction.”

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