Russian footballer Alexander Kokorin has apologized after a video appeared this week showing him and a teammate, Pavel Mamaev, at a lavish party in Monaco, the Meduza news website reported Friday.
The pair visited the Monte Carlo nightclub just days after the Russian team had been eliminated from the 2016 European Championships, having failed to win a match.
Kokorin was filmed smoking a hookah while waiters served them dozens of bottles of champagne and the Russian national anthem was played. Reports claimed that Kokorin and Mamaev spent 250,000 euros in the nightclub.
Kokorin was subsequently fined by his club, Zenit St. Petersburg and demoted to its second team. A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin called the behavior “outrageous vanity.”
“The fact that we were in that establishment makes the situation look stupid,” said Kokorin, speaking at a press conference Friday.
“I regret that I have caused such a scandal and I want to apologize to everyone offended by my actions.”
He denied however, that he took part in organizing the event or spent the reported amount of money.
“I repeat, we had nothing to do with the quantity of champagne, the unbelievable sums of money and, most importantly, it was not us who played the Russian anthem” he said.
“That’s complete nonsense.”
The nightclub’s owner, Flavio Briatore, this week confirmed that it was a separate party of Russians who ordered the champagne for the footballers and asked the DJ to play the Russian anthem.
“The funny thing is that those guys didn’t even drink alcohol,” he said.
Leonid Slutsky, the coach of the team who resigned after elimination from the tournament, said Friday that Kokorin and Mamaev are ultimately responsible for the episode.
“They’re guilty. They shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place, regardless of how and where the video was filmed,” he said.