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FOOTBALL

Russian teen footballers viciously attack Norway rivals

A Russian team has been banned from the world’s largest teen football tournament after beating up a rival Norwegian team so badly that police were called in.

Russian teen footballers viciously attack Norway rivals
Norwegian police interviewing Herd players after the violence. Photo: Herd
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the organisers of Norway Cup, an international football tournament for boys aged 10-19, said that Russia’s SPK Cosmos team would be fined 2,000 Norwegian kroner ($240) and would be banned from the tournament. 
 
Trond Lervik, the coach for Norway's Herd team, told Dagbladet newspaper that the Cosmos team had launched an attack after one of their players, who had been earlier sent off with red card for a violent tackle, ran back onto the pitch and karate-kicked one of the Norwegian boys. 
 
The other Russian boys then began beating up their Norwegian rivals, continuing even after the panicking referee blew the whistle to call off the match. 
 
“They stormed towards our players and beat them up. It was a real fight. We way rushing in to get them out of the way,” Lervik said. 
 
The police were called but by the time they arrived the Russian team had already left. 
 
Rune Hekkelstrand from the Oslo police confirmed that the Russian team appeared to have been “very aggressive”. 
 
“Several of the boys had black eyes, and one had a possible broken rib, but this has not been confirmed by paramedics,” he said. 
 
Lervik said that from the very start the Russian boys, who were unusually large and well-built, had performed tackles which “resembled assaults”. 
 
“We knew from other teams that had met them that they played very tough, but we never thought it would go this far. We are shocked by what has happened,” he told Norway’s Sunnmørsposten newspaper. 
 
Norway Cup’s independent judges ruled that Herd had won the game 3:0. 

RUSSIA

Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament

Norway's government on Tuesday said that it believes Russia was behind an August cyber attack targeting the email system of the country's parliament.

Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament
The parliament building in Oslo. File photo: AFP

The attack was detected in August, when Norway announced hackers had attacked the parliament's email system, gaining access to some lawmakers' messages.

“Based on the information the government has, it is our view that Russia is responsible for these activities,” foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said in a statement.

The foreign ministry did not specify what information prompted its conclusions, but encouraged companies to follow guidelines on cyber security.

“This is a very serious incident, affecting our most important democratic institution,” she added.

In its annual threat assessment published in February, Norway's PST domestic intelligence service warned of “computer network operations” which they said represented a “persistent and long-term threat to Norway”.

In 2018, NATO member Norway arrested a Russian national suspected of gathering information on the parliament's internet network, but released him several weeks later due to lack of evidence.

The two countries, which share a common border in the Arctic, have generally enjoyed good relations but those have become strained since Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

READ ALSO: Norway's parliament attacked by hackers

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