Russian and European football are mourning international referee Vladimir Pettay who has died in a plane accident in Russia. The 38-year-old match official was one of 45 people killed when the RusAir Tupolev 134 aeroplane in which he was travelling crashed in poor weather conditions while attempting to land in Petrozavodsk near the Finnish border. The Kerelia-born referee, who took charge of his 100th match in the Russian top flight just six days before the tragedy, was assigned his first Premier League game in 2003 and became a FIFA referee last year.
Players wore black armbands and a minute's silence was observed at all of Wednesday's Russian Premier League fixtures. The match officials at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals on Wednesday also donned black armbands in memory of Pettay, who is survived by his wife and two children.