Russian Premier League matches pay tribute to those killed in St. Petersburg Metro blast

Russian Premier League matches pay tribute to those killed in St. Petersburg Metro blast
Two Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) games on Monday paid tribute to the 14people killed in a bomb blast on the St. Petersburg Metro just hours before the matches kicked off.

On Monday afternoon, an explosion on a train traveling between St. Petersburg underground Metro stations Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut killed at least 10 people and left dozens injured.

A minute's silence was held before the two fixtures in the Russian league scheduled for 7.30pm on Monday night - FC Rostov versus neighbors FK Krasnodar in the ‘Southern Derby,’ and Spartak Moscow hosts Orenburg in the Russian capital, just hours after the fatal explosion.

Fans of Spartak Moscow announced they would observe five minutes of silence and not use any of their usual banners and flags.

Fratria, a Spartak Moscow supporters group, announced the five minute period of silence on their Twitter page. At the game, fans held up banners sending their condolences to the families and loved ones of those who died in the blast.

One banner unfurled in the home end read: "Immeasurable pain that tears the heart to pieces. Petersburg, we mourn with you."

Spartak’s official Twitter account posted a picture of a lone candle with the words: “Spartak Moscow expresses its deep condolences to the friends and relatives of those who died in today’s tragedy in the metro in St. Petersburg”.

Similar messages were posted on the FC Rostov account and the English-language account for Zenit St. Petersburg before kick off. 

Former Zenit St. Petersburg players Axel Witsel and Hulk - who now play in the Chinese Super League with Tianjin Quanjian and Shanghai SIPG F.C. respectively - both posted their condolences on their social media accounts.

"All my thoughts, condolences and prayers go to everyone affected by today's tragedy...Stay strong beautiful St. Petersburg," Witsel said in a post on Twitter.

Hulk posted a picture of St. Petersburg on Instagram with the message "Stay strong St. Petersburg. We are praying for you. God bless you" written in both Russian and Portuguese.

Commenting on the blast, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “The causes of this event have not been determined yet, so it’s too early to talk about [possible causes]. The investigation will show. Certainly, we will consider all possibilities: common, criminal, but first of all of a terrorist nature.”