Fabio Capello: Abandoned game should not have restarted

Igor Akinfeev
Igor Akinfeev is carried off after being hit by a flare in the first minute of the abandoned game in Montenegro

Coach Fabio Capello does not think Russia's Euro 2016 qualifier in Montenegro should have restarted after Igor Akinfeev had been hit by a flare.

The game was stopped for 35 minutes after the incident involving Russia's goalkeeper in the first minute.

It did resume but was eventually abandoned after further crowd disturbances and a touchline brawl involving players from both teams.

"The game should have been stopped immediately," said Capello.

The Italian added: "It was a very unpleasant situation."

Capello said the decision to resume was made by the Uefa match delegate.

European football's governing body is to investigate the ugly scenes, which also delayed the start of the second half and eventually prompted German referee Deniz Aytekin to take the teams off after 66 minutes.

Momir Djurdjevac, general secretary of the Montenegrin FA, condemned the home fans' actions.

"This is a human disaster," he said. "This is the final straw and someone has to say, 'enough!'. We can only thank God that someone was not hurt.

"A big dream for small Montenegro is to appear in the big competitions. It seems that we do not deserve, neither state nor national team, placement in the big competitions.

"What can we do after this? To pay a fine, to say goodbye to a great competition. Who is to determine the sentence, Uefa? It does not matter. For me, the game was not supposed to continue after the first minute."

CSKA Moscow's Akinfeev was struck on the head by the flare approximately 20 seconds after kick-off and was replaced by Yuri Lodygin.

Akinfeev was taken to the local hospital in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica, wearing a neck brace.

He was eventually released and flew back to Moscow with his team-mates.

"I want to say thank you to all those who supported me," he told the Russian team's website.

"I feel fine now. Unfortunately these things can happen sometimes in football. But I hope nothing like this ever happens again in Montenegro or any other country in the world."

Montenegro fans
Police try to keep order during the abandoned match between Montenegro and Russia in Podgorica
Russian fans
Russian fans set off a flare during the abandoned Euro 2016 qualifier with Montenegro in Podgorica

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