On the territory of correctional colony No. 4 in the city of Alekseyevka, Belgorod Region, a match took place with the participation of two of its most famous prisoners - striker Zenith Alexander Kokorin and midfielder Krasnodar Pavel Mamaev. Former Russian national team players met with the players of Salute, who plays in the second division of the national championship.
Athletes serving sentences for hooliganism and beatings became part of a team composed of other convicts of their colony. The team received the name "Golden Lion" in honor of the animal depicted on the coat of arms of the Belgorod region. Together with them, the younger brother of Kokorin, Kirill, also serving his sentence in Alekseevka, took part in the match.
Initially, it was reported that the match will be held in the “6 by 6” format, and the teams will spend two halves of 30 minutes each. However, on the day of the game, the conditions changed - the number of players decreased to five in each team, and the time periods decreased to 20 minutes. The break between halves was the same, during which the assembled journalists were invited to speak with the players.
Kokorin and Mamaev played in blue T-shirts with images of a golden lion on their chests. The player of “Krasnodar” made the fifth number, on the back of the striker “Zenith” was the number “7”. Their rivals, on the eve of losing to the Obninsk “Quantum” in the PFL championship, put on a white uniform.
The game took place on a small field, which was even smaller in size than mini-football grounds. The condition of the lawn could not be called ideal - the grass was preserved only on the flanks, and most of the territory was covered with dry land. At the same time, markings were made on the field, indicating the central circle and the area around the goal. The site was surrounded by a transparent fence, behind which journalists and employees of the Federal Penitentiary Service were located.
Kokorin and Mamaev spent all the time on the field, although the match provided for substitutions used by the younger brother of the Zenit footballer. Former national team players often interacted with each other and together scored all the goals in the Golden Lion team, bringing the team a 4-2 victory. Mamaev designed a hat-trick, distinguishing himself, including after an accurate hit from a long distance. Kokorin, although he scored only one goal, often helped the team with the ball.
After the match, Mamaev was encouraged as the top scorer, and Kokorin was recognized as the most useful player. The prize for the best goalkeeper went to Nikolai Goldintsev, who repelled several shots from the Salyut players. All members of the “Golden Lion” received gratitude from the Belgorod Federal Penitentiary Service, which could be a complement to the positive characterization for prisoners.
During the break, Kokorin thanked Zenit for their support, stood up for Mamaev, with whom Krasnodar intends to terminate the contract, and spoke about his attitude to Denis Pak, the conflict with which led the player to prison.
“Ready to end his career at Zenit. Ready to play at least for free. Because the club treats me very well. Sergey Semak in touch with my family. He is not just a human being, I can’t even find words to describe what a good person he is. I believe that Krasnodar has acted unfairly towards Mamaev. If I meet on Pak Street, I’m ready to shake his hand. I have no complaints against him. Although it’s a pity that he did not repeat what he actually told us in the cafe, ”the striker told Sport Express.
Mamaev said that he expects to receive conditional release soon, commented on the situation with the contract and admitted that he has not yet decided on the future at large.
“The mood is excellent, chic. Of course, we look forward to parole. We filed. To all the will of God, as it will be, it will be so. We have been waiting a long time. In any case, we have not so long left. Everything will be fine. I have no offense at Krasnodar. I understand. I would like to say hello to all the guys, all the players, the leadership, headed by Sergey Galitsky, I am now rooting for them. I don’t think about what I’ll do when I’m free. First you need to go out. I try to live today, at the moment I have a technically valid contract with Krasnodar, ”the footballer noted.
Having finished playing, the participants of the match went to the dining room for lunch. In the future, they will still have time to hold a new match. If the request for parole is not satisfied, then Mamaev will spend another three months in the colony, and the Kokorin brothers will have four months left until the end of the term.