The game in Dagestan between Makhachkala Anji and St. Petersburg Zenith was the most important and the tour was intended to show the state in which the team went to the start of the second part of the championship. And it was timed for that with a few events.
First of all, the executive Sergey Cheban gave the Head Coach of "Anji" Haji Hajiyev a diploma "For contributions to the development of Dagestan football", calling the Coach a guru. In addition, as part of the festivities that the premier league organize in each of the cities, there was a concert featuring the most popular performers in Dagestan. Finally "Anji" made a rather unusual move: the day before the game the football club has organized the prayer services dedicated to the team and to the football, the game that should bring people together. The services were held in the Orthodox churches, mosques and synagogues.
But soon the attention from what was happening on the field was deflected to the events that began in the sector with Zenith fans. For sure it is not known what served as the cause, but the riot police went to calm down the visitors from the North. In response the fire was thrown on the riot police what was placed on the adjacent sector (the sector was acted as a buffer and was filled about halfway).
The police, of course, moved towards the Zenith fans. The Anji fans went to deal with the Northern guests as well. A few chairs flew in the air. It smelled as a trouble, but everything seemed to calmed down. The riot poli stood as a human shield between the hosts and guests, who immediately calmed down.
During a break it was announced that the Washington Capitals and team Russia forward Alexander Ovechkin was at the staduim. The stands reacted to it no less vigorously than the appearance of Dzsudzsak [A Hungarian soccer player who played for Anji in that game for the first time -tj]. It turned out the hockey star was popular in Dagestan.
During the break Ovechkin was invited to the field and with a roar from the crowd was given a Caucasian black cloak and hat, which he immediately put on. In addition, they tied an Anji scarf around his neck, that virtually initiated him to the fans of Makhachkala soccer club. Interestingly enough, a similar gift was given last year to the head coach of Zenith Luciano Spalletti.H/t to our field reporter Emily...
As for Ovechkin, after the ceremony he had a great difficulty to get back to his place, so many wanted photographed with him, reports SE correspondent Sergei Zimmermann.
Brazilian Roberto Karlos, who is black, plays for Anji and he was recently a victim of racial attack during the soccer game in Russia.
There's only one ethnic Russian player in Anji roster. His name is Alexander Prudnikov and it appears he is Ovi's friend.
Frankly Ovi was in a wrong place, at a wrong time there. Based on the tweets some ethnic Russians didn't appreciate his appearance there. The game ended in a confrontation between the riot police and Zenith fans.
Finally "Anji" made a rather unusual move: the day before the game the football club has organized the prayer services dedicated to the team and to the football, the game that should bring people together.That's how dead serious soccer is in Russia, like almost anywhere in the World excluding US.
The services were held in the Orthodox churches, mosques and synagogues.
During investigation found some old pic of Ovi, his bro, Prudnikov and Semin.
Turned out Prudnikov has a nickname: Slon, which translates from Russian as Elephant. So here we go, from left to right: Elephant, Goose and Little Lamb.
This is Prudnikov's photo from his Odnoklassniki account named as «гусь, кови, я» (goose, kovi and me)
Misha, Ovi, Magomet and Goose at Winter Classics, Pittsburgh, 12/31/2011
One can guess Alex Prudnikov was in Pittsburgh at Winter Classics this year.
Meanwhile Ovi is 4th in the list of Russian celebrities according to Russian Forbes. They calculate it based on popularity and income ($14 mil in 2011).
Update: Read what Ovi said about his visit to Dagestan in a new post...