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Russian footballers detained after beating government official

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Russian footballers detained after beating government official

Russian footballers detained after beating government official
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Two Russian Premier League footballers have been detained by police after an altercation with a government official at Moscow's "Coffeemania" cafe on Monday.

Zenit St. Petersburg striker Aleksandr Kokorin, 27, and Krasnodar FC midfielder Pavel Mamayev, 30, have been accused of beating an official from the Russian Ministry for Industry and Trade.

The athletes now face up to five years in prison for their involvement in the altercation.

Surveillance footage showed the official being hit over his head with a chair and then slapped in the face. Russian lawmakers have come forward to call for their punishment since the viral video has gained nationwide interest.

It is unclear whether the incident was due to anger management or if they were under the influence of a substance. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a populist Russian MP, suggested the footballers should be sent to Syria to train local kids as a punishment.

"Moscow police headquarters have suggested to Kokorin and Mamayev that they come, to give an explanation and participate in the investigation before 6 p.m. today. We are informing the aforementioned (Kokorin and Mamayev) that if, after 6 p.m. they are not at the headquarters, they will be the subject of a federal search," said Yury Titov, Head of Information Department outside Moscow Police Headquarters.

Kokorin and Mamayev are also suspected of assaulting the driver of Russian journalist Olga Ushakova on Monday as well during their apparent fighting spree. The altercation was also caught on surveillance cameras and widely televised.

Ushakova said on Wednesday her driver was planning on seeing a medical specialist but was "slowly getting better".

The Russian Premier League strongly condemned the "hooliganism." Krasnodar FC said it might terminate Mamayev's contract, while Zenit said it would take disciplinary measures against Kokorin.