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DATELINE WORLD CUP 2002/ RUSSIA

Officials Pull Plug on Public Broadcasts

June 11, 2002|Fernando Dominguez

Authorities banned the broadcast of World Cup games in public squares, and the Russian prime minister warned that riots Sunday that left two dead could cost the nation a chance to hold the 2008 European soccer championships.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, in St. Petersburg for a summit of Baltic Sea countries, called those who carried out the violence "hooligans."

Russian politicians criticized Moscow police for failing to ensure security during Russia's game against Japan, broadcast live on a large screen across from the Kremlin. Russia lost, 1-0.

The riot was "an insult to the millions of people who supported the Russian team," Alexei K. Volin, deputy chief of the Cabinet's staff, told Interfax.

Thousands of fans, many of them drunk, set cars on fire, smashed windows and fought police and each other.

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