Russian referee attempts suicide

Jonathan Wilson
Friday 13 November 2009 01:00
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The referee who took charge of Juande Ramos's controversial last game as CSKA Moscow manager is recovering in a psychiatric hospital after attempting to commit suicide. The former Tottenham manager was sacked after just 46 days in charge of CSKA following a controversial 3-1 home defeat to FK Moskva on 25 October, but that was just one consequence of a match that lies at the heart of a network of reports of possible match-fixing and Chechen-based mafia corruption.

The referee, Almir Kayumov, was widely criticised after the game, having denied CSKA what seemed a clear penalty and a free-kick just outside the box, while mystifyingly booking their goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev. Referees' assessors awarded him the lowest possible mark for the game, and it was considered extremely unlikely that he would retain his place on the Premier Liga list for next season. Kayumov refereed Lokomotiv's 1-0 win over Amkar Perm at the weekend, but on Monday was spotted by passers-by standing on the window-sill of his seventh-floor flat in western Moscow.

He was eventually talked down by police negotiators, and taken into custody. There, he accused his wife of having robbed him and spoke of hearing "strange voices" in the kitchen. He was later taken to Psychiatric Hospital Number 14 in the south of the city. "His condition is satisfactory right now," said the head of the Russian Football Union, Vitaly Mutko. "We don't know the exact reasons that led him to this but we're investigating." Sovetsky Sport, the main sports tabloid, cited a source who blamed "family problems", but there are much darker rumours.

Kayumov was an inconsistent but brilliant member of the Spartak side that won the league in 1987, and then became a highly respected referee, taking charge of the 2005 Russian Cup final between CSKA and Khimki. Late that year, though, he was struck from the Premier Liga list after awarding Luch-Energia Vladivostok three dubious penalties in their 3-2 victory over KamAZ, a result that helped them to promotion to the top-flight.

He returned to the Premier Liga list in 2008, but attracted controversy again in July with a series of bizarre decisions in Terek Grozny's 3-2 win over Zenit St Petersburg, a game in which he awarded nine yellow cards, and Terek scored a last-minute winner after a late Zenit fightback had wiped out their two goal lead.

The RFU had already launched an investigation after Terek's suspicious 3-2 win over Krylya Sovetov in June. Their chairman, Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya who has been accused of a range of human rights abuses, has denied any wrongdoing, but it was only last season that Terek were fined by the RFU after the referee Aleksei Kovalev was beaten up leaving their stadium.

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