Two Russian footballers have been punished by their respective clubs for being filmed celebrating at a lavish Monte Carlo party after the Russian national team had crashed out of the UEFA European Championships.
A video of Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev drinking champagne costing $500 a bottle whilst Russia’s national anthem played in the background appeared on Instagram, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday. Reports claimed that the two men spent 250,000 euros ($277,000) on champagne.
Kokorin, a player with Zenit St. Petersburg, was demoted to the club’s second team and fined a “substantial amount,” TASS reported.
“Unfortunately, Russian footballers often land themselves in scandalous situations because of a lack of moderation and decent behavior in public,” said Maksim Mitronov, Zenit’s general director.
“Considering the damage this has done to the reputation of Russian football, the club has decided to transfer Kokorin to Zenit Two and impose a large fine.”
Pavel Mamaev was also fined by his club Krasnodar and demoted to the club’s youth team, TASS reported.
“It would be stupid to deny that we were there,” Kokorin said Tuesday. “Of course, everyone has seen the bottles of champagne and heard the Russian national anthem but why claim that we were the ones who organized it?”
“We have nothing to do with the cost of the party or with those present,” he said. “And as for the money the media are quoting us as spending, we could have bought more than champagne, we could have bought the whole club.”
Pavel Mamaev has since closed his Instagram account, whilst Kokorin has limited the access to his, TASS reported.
The Russian national football team was eliminated from the European Championships in the group stages without winning a single match.