MOSCOW (AP) — A Zenit St. Petersburg fan has confessed to attacking an opposition player during a Russian Premier League match, local media reported Thursday.
Alexei Nesterov said he was the fan caught on film punching Dynamo Moscow and Russia defender Vladimir Granat in the head during a pitch invasion that forced Sunday's game to be abandoned.
"I'd like to apologize to the city and to the club," Nesterov was quoted as saying at a hastily arranged news conference at the club's offices.
"It happened spontaneously, like in the yard, in the street, when someone shouts: 'They're beating our guys' and you can't let your guys get hurt."
Zenit was punished by the Russian Football Union on Wednesday with a technical defeat, a fine and the closure of its stadium for two matches.