Russia players support badly-beaten striker

Russia players showed their support for FC Krasnodar striker Spartak Gogniyev, who was badly beaten during a league match at the weekend, by wearing T-shirts bearing his name in training on Wednesday.

All 20 squad members, preparing for Friday's international friendly against Greece, came out at Moscow's Lokomotiv stadium wearing shirts which read 'Spartak Gogniyev! We are with you!'

"It was the whole team's idea. We had to show our support for one of our fellow colleagues," Russia captain Andrei Arshavin told reporters.

Krasnodar captain Gogniyev suffered a broken nose and ribs, severe bruising, and concussion after being attacked by a group of men dressed in police uniforms during Friday's reserve game against Chechen side Terek Grozny.

The 30-year-old former Russia international had minor surgery on Tuesday and doctors said he should be released from hospital in the next few days.

"We had seen on video that a group of men, some dressed in Terek's uniform, beating Gogniyev with brutal force just off the pitch," Vladimir Katkov, head of the FA's disciplinary committee, told reporters following a hearing on Wednesday.

"Just watching the video leaves you feeling sick. It wasn't a fight, it was simply a group of people attacking one person. Just a terrible thing. We have identified those attackers and we will deal with them at out next hearing."

TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE

The incident in Grozny has led many players to worry about their safety.

"Such things are totally unacceptable. The players are horrified about what is going on," Russian players' union (RSFT) chief Vladimir Leonchenko told reporters on Wednesday.

"If we have Russian players worried then what about those who come here from abroad?" he said.

"We've seen huge money being pumped into our league, clubs like Anzhi [Makhachkala] spending millions of dollars on their players but, on the other hand, we see players being attacked, they get their contracts annulled and threatened with guns."

Former Montenegro striker Nikola Nikezic lodged a complaint with FIFA and UEFA earlier this year saying he had been forced to end his contract with Krasnodar's city rivals Kuban after being beaten up and threatened with a gun.

Kuban were fined $70,570 by the Russian FA while the club's sporting director and assistant coach received lengthy bans for their role in the incident.