Forward “Zenith” Alexander Kokorin and midfielder “Krasnodar” Pavel Mamaev, who are serving sentences in correctional colony No. 4 in the city of Alekseevka, Belgorod region, are preparing to re-enter the football field. On Saturday, August 10, there will be a match between the national team of the correctional institution and the local Salute, playing in the third strongest division of the Russian championship - the championship of the Professional Football League (PFL).
It is known that the team of Kokorin and Mamaev received the name "Golden Lion". This name was not chosen by chance: it was this animal (along with the silver eagle) depicted on the coat of arms of Belgorod. The game in the six by six format will be held on the territory of the correctional institution and will consist of two halves of 30 minutes each.
Director General of Salyut Alexander Shcheglov thanked the colony leadership, as well as the authorities of the Belgorod region for organizing the match. He noted that the players of his team are looking forward to meeting with eminent colleagues on the field.
“Salute” is a young team, many guys saw the stars of Russian football only on TV. However, for older players of Salute, this game is an undesirable additional load, ”Shcheglov quotes“ Championship ”.
The functionary emphasized that despite the unofficial status of the game, both teams will take it seriously.
“We have not yet discussed the exchange of T-shirts with Kokorin and Mamaev after the match, but I think there will be many who want to receive such a souvenir in their collection. Regarding the danger of injury, given the not the best field on the territory of IK-4 and the possible rigidity in the game of the partners Kokorin and Mamaev, no doubt, any athlete always seeks only victory. Our guys will want to show their maximum potential and not give way to Alexander and Pavel on the football field, ”Shcheglov added.
The idea to hold a football match in IK-4 was repeatedly expressed by the imprisoned athletes themselves. According to them, in the correctional facility they were not able to get a position related to their professional activities. Therefore, holding friendly matches would allow them to keep fit.
The initiator of the meeting was the Belgorod team. His leadership expects that it will arouse interest among fans and the media, which will positively affect the popularity of the club, which only recently resumed its activity after a four-year pause.
“Why does the club need such an action? For the sake of PR! Why else? And so, look, we have Andrey Kolesnikov playing. He is from Valuek, like Alexander Kokorin. They are well acquainted with each other. So from this city there were only five normal players. Of these, four are more or less well-known: our Kolesnikov, Kokorin and the Kontsedalov brothers. They all communicate very closely with each other, ”Sport24 quotes the Salyut press attaché, Georgy Kulikov.
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Publication from FC “Salute Belgorod” (@fc_salyutbgd) Aug 7, 2019 at 6:05 am PDT
Local fans were also encouraged by the upcoming match. Some of them even wondered where to buy tickets. However, the team’s press service hastened to disappoint them: the meeting would be closed to the general public. Its details will be reported on social networks.
In turn, the 35-year-old Salyut defender Andrei Kolesnikov admitted that he would be pleased to meet his old friends.
“With Pasha Mamaev I spoke at Torpedo, I have known Sasha Kokorin since childhood. I haven’t seen them for a long time, it will be nice to meet and support them in a difficult situation, ”the footballer noted.
“As a child, in the years 10-11, I already played against prisoners in the Valuy juvenile colony. I still remember the corridors with iron doors, which made me very uncomfortable, ”Kolesnikov told BelPress.
Recall that in early May 2019, the Presnensky court of Moscow sentenced the brothers Alexander and Kirill Kokorins to one year and six months in a penal colony, and Mamaev and the children's coach Alexander Protasovitsky to one year and five months in prison. All four were found guilty of assaulting officials Denis Pak and Sergey Gaysin, as well as driver of TV presenter Olga Ushakova Vitaly Solovchuk. Several attempts by lawyers to challenge this decision were unsuccessful.
In early August, Kokorin and Mamaev petitioned for parole. The date for consideration of the petitions will become known after the Alekseevsky District Court gets acquainted with all the necessary materials of the case.