Disgraced Russian footballers to be released on parole

Pavel Mamaev and Alexander Kokorin are set to be released from prison after 11 months locked up

A Russian court on Friday ruled that Russian footballers Pavel Mamaev and Alexander Kokorin could be released on parole after spending 11 months in jail for the drunken assault of a government official.

Krasnodar midfielder Mamaev and Zenit Saint Petersburg forward Kokorin will walk free in 10 days following the court's decision, ending the pair's prison time for an attack which took place in an upmarket Moscow cafe following a booze-fuelled night out in October last year.

In May Mamaev had Kokorin received respective sentences of 17 and 18 months, of which they had already served seven months.

But on Friday, a court in Russia's western Belgorod region ruled that Mamaev, Kokorin, and Kokorin's brother Kirill did not need "the full term in prison for their correction".

A scandal broke out last year after a video surfaced of Kokorin and Mamaev assaulting ethnic Korean Denis Pak, a trade ministry official who was dining in the cafe, and hitting him with a chair.

Shortly before that they had assaulted the chauffeur of a TV presenter as he waited in a car park.

The Russian Premier League last year condemned the assault and briefly considered a lifetime ban.

On Friday a league spokesman said the players could be registered outside the usual window if their clubs make a special request.

Zenit called 28-year-old Kokorin's behaviour "disgraceful", and it was not clear whether the club would consider taking him back after his contract ran out in June.

"The club leadership will meet with Kokorin and discuss his plans" after his release, Zenit told Russian news agencies.

Krasnodar still lists Mamaev as a player on its website, which says that his contract is valid until the end of the year.

Both players are Russian internationals though Kokorin last played for the national side in late 2017, while Mamaev was last selected in 2016, and both have landed in hot water before for their behaviour.

The Russian Football Union suspended the pair in July 2016 after a video emerged from a Monte Carlo nightclub showing them cavorting at a champagne-fuelled party shortly after Russia's early exit from Euro 2016.