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Moscow Authorities Deny Soccer Match Postponed Over Planned Rally

Police in Moscow used violence to put down the protests on July 27.
Police in Moscow used violence to put down the protests on July 27.

Moscow authorities have rejected allegations that a soccer match scheduled for later this week will be postponed due to a protest rally planned in the Russian capital on the same day.

Deputy Mayor Aleksandr Gorbenko told reporters on August 1 that the match between two local clubs -- Spartak and Dynamo -- will take place at the Otkritie Arena stadium two days later as planned.

The denial comes a day after several media outlets quoted Nikolai Lyaskin, the head of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's headquarters in Moscow, as saying that the August 3 match would be postponed due to an unsanctioned rally planned by opposition and civil-rights activists.

Several days of demonstrations were held last month to protest election officials for not registering independent and opposition candidates ahead of a September 8 city council election.

Police violently dispersed the latest such protest, which was held on July 27, and detained nearly 1,400 people, according to the independent OVD-Info organization.

Dozens of protesters have since been fined or given jail sentences for organizing and participating in the unsanctioned rally. Several are facing criminal charges for allegedly assaulting police.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax