A Moscow court on Wednesday found Russian footballers Pavel Mamaev and Alexander Kokorin guilty of hooliganism over a night of drunken assaults and sentenced them to a year and a half in prison.
Mamaev received a sentence of one year and five months, while Kokorin one year and six months. The court also convicted two of their co-defendants, including Kokorin’s brother, issuing similar sentences.
The footballers have already served about seven months in detention, which will count toward their sentence.
By Russian rules, a day in pre-trial jail counts toward 1.5 days in a colony. They will spend the remainder in penal colonies.
Kokorin’s lawyer Tatiana Stukalova told journalists that “we will definitely submit an appeal” within the 10-day limit, claiming the verdict was based solely on victims’ testimony.
“We expected the court would announce shorter sentences and show its humanity,” she said.
“But the court didn’t show any humanity and kept the sentences requested by the prosecution.”
Mamaev, a midfielder for Krasnodar, and Kokorin, a Zenit Saint Petersburg forward, attacked two officials in an upmarket Moscow cafe after a drunken night out in October 2018.
One of the officials, Denis Pak, an ethnic Korean, was hit with a chair while eating.
The players also assaulted the chauffeur of a TV presenter as he waited in a car park. The driver was hospitalised with injuries and a criminal probe was opened.
Both players are Russian internationals though Kokorin last played for the national side in late 2017, while Mamaev was last selected in 2016.
The attacks led to a stinging public backlash but it was not the first time the players’ behaviour has landed them in hot water.
The Russian Football Union suspended the pair in July 2016 after a video emerged from a Monte Carlo nightclub showing them cavorting at a champagne-fuelled party shortly after Russia’s early exit from Euro 2016.
Earlier this week, prosecutor Svetlana Tarasova called for Kokorin and Mamaev to serve up to a year and a half in a penal colony.
She told journalists on Wednesday that the judge “fully agreed with the classification (of the crime) put forward by the prosecution”.