The Russian Football Premier League has issued a public condemnation over the strip-search antics that went on at a soccer game last Friday in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. Male police officers reportedly subjected dozens of women to probing strip searches before they were allowed to enter the Kazan Arena stadium.
Reports The Associated Press via ABC News on Aug. 5: “Several Spartak Moscow fans say police refused to allow female fans into the stadium for Friday's match against Rubin Kazan unless they complied. In a widely read blog post in Russia, fan Ekaterina Stepanova wrote of the ‘humiliation’ in which female fans were singled out and ‘required to strip, and that includes being demanded to remove their underwear’ for a search lasting up to 10 minutes.”
Premier League safety director Alexander Meitin called the “rough treatment” of their fans an outrage, adding that both the league and the FC Spartak organization have submitted formal complaints about the security at the stadium, handled by Kazan police officers. Police, in response, have defended their actions, stating that only those suspected of concealing contraband were forced to remove their clothes.
Witnesses say only women were seen being taken behind screens for the strip down search.
One female said she refused to allow police to strip search her, and was made to wait at the entrance to the stadium for one hour before she was finally allowed to go in.
With tens of thousands of fans packed into stadiums, upwards of 1,000 or more local police officers are brought in to handle security at riotous soccer arenas. All major football matches are given to police, as opposed to individual security teams of each club or stadium.
The AP report notes that Kazan is one of 11 host cities for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.