Eremenko attacked by Spartak fans?

A story in Helsingin Sanomat today:

Alexei Eremenko Jr., a forward on the Finnish national football team, suffered a jaw fracture on Sunday evening in a confrontation on a Moscow street.
He is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, and he will not play in the remaining Euro 2008 qualifiers, which end next week.
Eremenko and four friends were out celebrating the end of the Russian series, when he was attacked on the street.

“I am sure that Eremenko is not the guilty party, but rather the victim”, emphasised Mikhail Pukchanski, spokesman of the Saturn Football Club in comments to Helsingin Sanomat.
Eremenko plays professionally for Saturn on a contract that extends through the next season.
The Russian series ended on Sunday, when Saturn played Zenit of St. Petersburg, which won the match 1-0, sealing its league championship.
If Saturn had played a tie, the championship would have gone to the Moscow team Spartak, which defeated the Moscow Dynamo 2-1 in its own final match.

According to one theory, Eremenko may have been attacked by disappointed Spartak fans. Pukchanski did not take a stand on the matter, saying that the police were still investigating.
Finland has two more matches in the Euro qualifiers. First it meets Azerbaijan at Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium on Saturday, and on Wednesday it travels to Portugal for a match in that country.
Eremenko was not going to play against Azerbaijan anyway, because of a one-match ban, and the injury is keeping him out of the last match of the series.

The Finnish head coach Roy Hodgson said that he is sorry about Eremenko’s injury. However he does not plan to add anymore players to the team, which now has 22 players.
Finland is currently fourth in Group A. Poland is in first place, leading Finland by four points.
Finland would have to win both of the remaining matches to keep the possibility of playing in the finals alive.
The 24-year-old Eremenko has played on the Finnish team 32 times and has secured 12 goals in the matches.


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