Rumori di Spogliatoio

The Estonian Football (Fight) Club

Angelo PalmeriComment

Updated on the 5th of November 2014 with Nikita Andrejev's nickname of 'Kriminalnaja Rossija'

From today, ‘RdS’ start a collaboration with a new writer.

He does not want to write under his real name therefore we will call him by the nickname of ‘The Stig’.

However, he does not drive cars, at least not for us.

He writes stories. Stories you might not know or have

He takes us on his first ride through the territory where football borders with physical violence.

The Estonian Football (Fight) Club’ it is a cross club including players, managers, executives. They share the passion for football. However, they have been men of action. Or unwilling victims.


Fighting in football is something that does not happen every day.
However, those two are related: when you cannot show that your football skills are better, it is time to show your fists.
Off and on the pitch.

Many good footballers have said that they like fighting disciplines.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a black belt in Taekwondo.
Mario Balotelli has mentioned that he loves kickboxing.
Carlos Tevez had great pad-trainings at the Manchester City camp. 

Let us look to notable players and people in Estonian football who have showed their love for ’martial arts’ or something closer.

It all started in 1992.


Estonia had just become independent and it was time to build up the national football.
Probably the topics on how to build the national team game must have been very hot in Malta, as Aivar Pohlak, back then national team assistant coach, had an argument with team captain Urmas Hepner. The argument ended with Pohlak hitting Hepner straight in his face. After that episode, he left the national team and returned to football only in 1993 when the election for the board members of the Estonian FA kicked off.


Abusive behaviours towards referees it is a sad chapter of football everywhere.

However, what to do when the abuses are brought off the pitch? Namely, straight to the referee’s home.
1994. Meistriliiga referee, Oleg Timofejev was quietly celebrating his daughter’s birthday with his family when someone knocked on the door. When he opened the door, he was beaten up by men who were sent to ’punish’ him for not whistling in favour of Meistriliiga club FC Tevalte. A
fter that episode, FC Tevalte, whose owners were members of Estonian gangs, were demoted from Meistriliiga.

In some cases, a compromising accident has not tackled a player’s career.

It is the case of the well-known striker from Narva
when he was still underage, Nikita Andrejev. According to a police report, Nikita punched a man on his head in Tallinn’s Old Town.  However, notwithstanding that episode, he managed to start a quite promising career from FC Ajax Lasnamäe as he later on moved to Levadia to later on reach Almeria (Spain) second team. Now, he makes go with Russian Second Division at FC Tyumen.
After the violent episode, Andrejev was nicknamed 'Kriminalnaja Rossija' during Levadia trainings, as revealed former player and now assistant coach at the club, Indrek Zelinski. The nickname comes from a popular Russian TV show, 'Criminal Russia', showing footage of criminal episodes from all over the country.


Let us talk about one of most notable international players, defender Taavi Rähn, at the moment without a club and training and playing with FC Flora.
The ‘Estonian Tank’, as he is nicknamed, he was enjoying a nice evening on the 1st of march 2008, when he got stuck in an argument with a passer-by. Together with his friend, they decided to take action against the unfortunate person. Police intervened immediately and probably it was for him the good chance to understand that this is a behaviour not acceptable from a national team player.

Usually, for professional footballers, it is not appropriate to be in a nightclub on Wednesday night.
However, we must accept that this is happening quite often at any level. As it happened to five players from Narva Trans. The nightclub was the Ro-Ro and they managed to make a great mess there. The weirdest coincidence was that, during the same night, there were also some Estonian ministers at the Ro-Ro (Marko Pomerants and Rein Lang, who had a cultural meeting in Narva during the day). Narva Trans attacking midfielder, Sergei Leontovitš was the ‘Man Of The Match’ that night by breaking his opponent’s nose. 
Trans´ captain, most capped player in Meistriliiga, Stanislav Kitto, was trying to calm down a very angry Leontovitš however, police was needed to stop the fight.

Despite this long list of ‘football people’ involved in fights, not only the players and staff around them are to be blamed. Even players’ parents can have a go at someone.
In 2003, police suspended a D1 league game (U-14 boys). Parents from FC TVMK and FC Puuma players had a mass fight and two of the ‘participants’ suffered serious injuries after. 



If you are not happy with parents fighting against their children’s opponents, what you think about the Chairman of the Youth Football Committee taking ‘action’ himself? In 2003, Joosep Katsev, during a youth summer tournament, he picked up a fight against a team coach and one of the parents. The result was the coach receiving medicals for a broken leg.

So far, we have talked about fights off the pitch.

Obviously, there have been also fights on the pitch. Especially.

In this field, the most ‘notable’ representatives are Rameš Mamedov and Aleksandr Karpõtsev (in the picture).

In a 2009 Meistriliiga game, Kalev Tallinn vs. Paide Linnameeskond, Karpõtsev scored the first goal of the match for Kalev. However, not happy with his football feat, Aleksandr showed everyone he is a hard man too and, at the end of the game, he head-butted the goalkeeper’s face.
His own goalkeeper! Probably responsible of a remark he did not really approve.
He was shown a red card and Kalev lost the game 2-3. Additionally, he got a one-year suspension from any football activity.

When he returned from the ‘quarantine’, he started playing in Esiliiga (second flight) for the same club (Kalev). During a game against Valga Warrior (the name itself invited to the fight, we agree) he tried no less to strangle Elvis Liivamägi (the U-21 involved in last summer betting scandal) who was attending the game from the stands. Obviously, he received a red card for his exploit. Upon leaving the pitch, he abused everybody with profanities. He got a year and four month ban just because the previous ban was not effective enough.

However, you do not need to be involved in the football action to pick up a fight on the pitch. You can start it from the bench. This is what Norman Kägo (recently under accusation for drug smuggling) did several years ago. When his brother Risto (last season’s yellow cards record man in Premium Liiga, 26 in 24 games!) was sent off (surprise…), Norman felt the call of blood tie and decided it was time to help his brother. He simply ran on the pitch to pick it up.
He got a red card. A brother showing solidarity to his brother.




picture courtesty of Deviant Art