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Russian Fan Group Leader Shprygin Arrested In Moscow

Russian football fan leader Aleksandr Shprygin (file photo)
Russian football fan leader Aleksandr Shprygin (file photo)

Russian special police have arrested the president of the All-Russian Supporters Association (ARSA), Aleksandr Shprygin.

Moscow police said their Criminal Investigation Department detained Shprygin for questioning and searched his home and office.

Police said Shprygin was being questioned over a January 31 mass fight between football fans in central Moscow.

Shprygin was detained during the September 24 Russian Football Union's (RFU) conference, where delegates decided to exclude the ARSA from the RFU.

Shprygin came to international attention at Euro 2016 as the head of the officially accredited fan organization after Russian hooligans engaged in violent clashes and fights in France.

He was among 20 Russian fans detained and deported by French authorities.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was reelected as RFU president at the conference, told journalists the arrest was linked to Euro 2016 violence.

"I want to add that this organization (ARSA) discredited itself [at Euro 2016]," Mutko said.

"Almost all of its leadership have had problems with the law enforcement agencies. I think that the ARSA got Russian football into serious trouble,” he added.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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