Mass brawl erupts between Russian and Ukrainian football teams in hotel lobby

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Russian and Ukrainian footballers got into a fight after being forced to share a hotel together in Turkey.

Players from Russian second division side Shinnik Yaroslavl and Ukrainian Premier League outfit FC Minaj were kept too close for comfort due to the devastating earthquakes last week.

According to Ukrainian media, the trouble started when a Minaj player made a remark to a Russian player after he behaved inappropriately towards a hotel worker.

The Russian was reportedly ‘drunk and openly rude’ towards them and refused to apologise when confronted by the Ukrainian, who responded by punching him in the face.

After the initial skirmish, players from both sides soon got involved and began taunting each other over the ongoing war in Ukraine, which quickly escalated into an all-out brawl.

Footage of the fight shows men in suits attempting to intervene, but they can’t stop the two teams from fighting.

Despite both teams suffering injuries in the clash, the Ukrainian side appeared to emerge victorious, with Russian media later reporting that up to four Shinnik players broken bones.

Baza Telegram channel in Moscow alleged the Ukrainian players ‘provoked’ the Russians by asking why they were not protesting against Putin’s regime and the war.

The pro-Putin channel also claimed a Ukrainian ‘beat up one of the Russian footballers in a lift,’ which they said was the catalyst for the fight.

But the Ukrainian club hit back, releasing a statement which said ‘the reason for the clash was the shameful behaviour of the Russian team against a hotel employee and provocative shouts towards the [Minaj] players.

‘After the end of the fight, when the Minaj players were in their rooms, the Russians continued to fight among themselves.

‘Those who tried to stop the fight were accused of supporting Ukraine. Local police had to intervene to calm the Russians.’

“We are not the initiators of this conflict,” said general director of the Russian “Shinnik” FC, Sergei Kulakov.

Meanwhile, not the initiators:

Both sides reported injuries from the brawl, though none required hospital treatment.

The Russian club was moved to a different hotel the next day, while the Ukrainian players quickly put the incident behind them and resumed their training on Tuesday morning. 

The incident was not the only one of its kind to happen this week, with Zorya Londonsk also reporting that Shakhtar Donetsk forward Danylo Sikan got into an altercation with a drunk Russian at a hotel in Antalya, and knocked him out in one punch.

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