By Chris Wright
My my. It’s not been a good week for Russian football, now has it?
Kuban Krasnodar have been forced to pay €181,000 (£156,000/$256,000) in damages to former player Nikola Nikezic after the Russian Premier League side sent heavies out to beat up the Montenegrin forward for refusing to cancel the final year of his two-year contract.
Nikezic sent a letter of appeal and photographic documentation of the injuries he received to both FIFA and UEFA earlier this month, alleging that he had been punched, throttled and even threatened with a gun for 20 minutes before being made to agree to the club’s demands.
According to the claims made in Nikezic’s letter, the incident reportedly occurred on March 7th at Kuban Krasnodar’s practice facility (anyone else picturing the Siberian bunker from ‘Goldeneye’?) where the 29-year-old was taken aside by team trainer Nikolai Khlistunov, who invited him to discuss the contract situation in a private office.
After Khlistunov’s initial threats were ignored, two men ‘of strong build’ entered the room and duly began to work over Nikezic until he signed a document agreeing to void the remainder of his contract:
“One of the men put the papers in front of me and in an aggressive manner and demanded from me that I sign the papers to terminate my employment contract.
“When I replied that my contract has another year to run, and that these negotiations are to be carried out in presence of my representatives, I received a powerful blow to the liver.
“The second man took off his jacket…and under it I saw two pistols in a holster.
“They once again demanded that I sign the documents, and when I refused, I received a second powerful blow to the same spot. They started to strangle me, and threatened to make an invalid out of me.”
“After 20 minutes, I was left with no energy and a great fear for my life. I signed 3 copies of the agreement and 2 documents, the content of which is unknown to me since it was in Russian.”
Kuban Krasnodar have today confirmed that they have reached a quick compensation settlement with Nikezic, though their accompanying statement can hardly be construed as ‘apologetic’:
“The two sides have reached an agreement for Kuban to pay Nikezic compensation of $256,000 for the final year of his contract.
“(Kuban) have realized it was the right thing to do and settle this case without any further complications. We could say common sense has prevailed.”
‘Sorry’ would have been nice.