Two Russian soccer players, Aleksandr Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev, recently attended a pricey party at the Twiga nightclub in Monte Carlo after their team's defeat at the Euro 2016 championship (video below).
According to RT.com, Life.ru reported that the players spent more than $250,000 on about 500 bottles of champagne at the club. However, Kokorin denied that he and Mamaev ordered the bubbly booze.
FC Krasnodar, Mamaev's team, said in a statement that his behavior was "outrageous and unacceptable," and that he will be "moved to the youth team of FC Krasnodar" and fined.
"Somebody was celebrating their birthday and we were simply there," Kokorin said, notes Sports.ru. "Naturally, everybody saw the bottles and heard the Russian anthem, but why put all this on us?"
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"We have nothing to do with the bills for this party and its entourage," Kokorin added. "And the money which was mentioned in the media was enough to buy not just the champagne, but the whole place."
According to RT.com, the social media accounts of the players showed that expensive champagne with the Russian anthem playing was a tradition at the players' parties.
One of party guests told Life.ru: "At first, [Kokorin and Mamaev] were acting quietly and modestly. But then champagne was served to the Russian national anthem. Confetti was thrown and sparklers lit. The players were treating everybody at the club. Some just took the bottles from the table as they were in countless numbers."
Russian citizens responded to the report with outrage in their online comments:
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"A boozing session to the Russian national anthem. I’m in shock."
"Disgrace! What a disgrace! Doing this to the Russian anthem. I have no words."
"Dumb disgraceful cynics… this national team must be disbanded."
After Russia lost at Euro 2016, Mamaev reportedly posted a picture (which was later deleted) on Instagram of himself on a private plane and the caption: "Yes, we lost. Yes, we’re out. But possibly it’s the best we could’ve done! Waiting for a s--- storm in the comments…"
After the team's loss to Wales, Russia’s coach, Leonid Slutsky, offered an apology to the Russian fans, notes The Guardian.
"I’d like to apologize to the fans that we couldn’t show character, will and mastery," Slutsky said. "When you lose in every respect, it’s hard to single out one thing. Everything was lacking … I think the coach definitely needs to be changed and what else is a question for the [Russian Football Union]."
Vitaly Mutko, Russia's sports minister, said the team did not have any "players of the highest level," while MP Dmitry Svishchev, head of the sport committee in the Russian parliament, called for all the players to be replaced.
The Communist Party of Russia tweeted that the team was "soft" like the ruling United Russia party, and added: "We need a Stalinist mobilization. Mental, physical hard strength."