100 people were detained in Russia after police mistook rugby match as brawl

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Authorities in southern Russia detained over 100 people when police mistook a game of rugby as a brawl. Police apparently received a tip that a large crowd had gathered at an empty sports ground on the outskirts of the city on Sunday afternoon. Around 70 policeman arrived at the scene to find a large number of cars parked around the area, and what appeared to be a crowd that was watching two rival gangs fight each other.

The police stopped the event and around 100 people were detained until they learned that they were actually playing a game of rugby. Everyone was released within a few hours, but authorities were displeased that they had not informed them of the sporting event earlier. A spokesperson for the police said, "Given the difficult, troubled situation in the region, at a time when counter-terrorism actions are being actively conducted, citizens are obligated to inform [authorities] either verbally or in writing of their intentions."

"The fact that police took us to be hooligans, this isn't the first time," said one of the organisers.

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