€250k on champagne in Monte Carlo: Russian players party after Euro 2016 failure (VIDEO)
Footballers Aleksandr Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev, who have been in a festive mood despite an early exit from Euro 2016, are in the middle of a scandal after being spotted at a Monte Carlo party where rivers of champagne were being served to the sound of Russia’s national anthem.
Mamaev’s club FC Krasnodar has already issued a statement, calling its player’s behavior “outrageous and unacceptable.”
“Currently, footballer Pavel Mamaev is moved to the youth team of FC Krasnodar,” the statement read, adding that Mamaev will also be fined.
A source in Kokorin’s club, Zenit Saint Petersburg, told R-Sport that the player will also be moved from the main team to the youth squad and fined.
Kokorin denied the media reports, saying that he and Mamaev were at the party, but had nothing to do with ordering champagne.
“Somebody was celebrating their birthday and we were simply there. Naturally, everybody saw the bottles and heard the Russian anthem, but why put all this on us?” Kokorin said, as cited by Sports.ru.
He stressed that the club where the events took place is known for attracting many rich Russians who live or are on holiday in Monaco.
“We have nothing to do with the bills for this party and its entourage. And the money which was mentioned in the media was enough to buy not just the champagne, but the whole place,” the player added.
Twiga club owner and former Formula 1 team manager, Flavio Briatore, confirmed the players’ statements that they had nothing to do with the organization of the party and never ordered any champagne.
According to the entrepreneur, Kokorin and Mamaev “came for dinner at TWIGA with the wives. After dinner they stayed in the club to smoke shisha.”
“There was a private party in Twiga organized by some Russians. They recognized Kokorin and Mamaev and as a sign of respect, as they are fans, they started sending them bottles of champagne and they asked our DJ to play the Russian national anthem. Then other Russian clients also wanted to show their respect and sent the two players other bottles, so Kokorin and Mamaev had the table full of bottles,” Briatore wrote on Instagram.
The owner stressed that the funny thing about the whole incident was that the Russian players “are not even drinking alcohol.”
Videos and photos of the athletes, partying at Monte Carlo’s posh Twiga nightclub, were posted on Instagram and other social media.
But, according to L!fe.ru, it was Kokorin and Mamaev who had splashed out on around 500 bottles of Armand de Brignac champagne for all the guests at the club.
A single bottle of the well-known bubbly costs around €500 (US$557), meaning that the players spent over €250,000 at the club, the tabloid reports.
The champagne was served to the sounds of Russia’s national anthem, decorated with sparklers and golden confetti flying through the air.
The Russian national team members also smoked hookahs and were surrounded by girls, the website wrote.
“At first, they [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,” one of the guests at the party told Life.ru.
Russian internet users were not so much outraged by the players' alleged generosity with their cash, but more by their disrespectful treatment of the national anthem.
“A boozing session to the Russian national anthem. I’m in shock,” one of them wrote.
The words were echoed by another commentator, who wrote: “Disgrace! What a disgrace! Doing this to the Russian anthem. I have no words.”
“Dumb disgraceful cynics… this national team must be disbanded,” another user wrote, repeating the calls found in many other messages.
Even Russia's Investigative Committee spokesman, Vladimir Markin, commented on the footballers' party in a rather biting way.
“Others were pouring [champagne]. These two would’ve just missed the glasses,” he tweeted, hinting at the zero goals scored by Kokorin and Mamaev in France.
Разливать доверили другим. Эти бы точно в бокалы не попали…https://t.co/opAoenUXWK— Владимир Маркин (@VladimirMarkin) 5 июля 2016 г.
RT looked through the players' accounts on social media and found that serving expensive champagne to the Russian anthem was kind of a tradition at Kokorin’s and Mamaev’s parties.
Mamaev posted a video of a similar stunt on Instagram from Dubai in December 2014, but following the scandal he deleted his account. However, the pictures are still available in his Twitter feed.
The Russian national football team failed to qualify from the group stages at Euro 2016 in France this June.
The team managed a 1-1 draw with England in their opening match, but then suffered two painful losses to Slovakia (1-2) and Wales (0-3).
Striker Aleksandr Kokorin, 25, was included on the list of the worst Euro 2016 players by WhoScored.com. His salary at Russian Premier League side Zenit St. Petersburg is €3.5 million per year.
Midfielder Pavel Mamaev, 27, also plays in Russia, earning around €1.4 million annually at FC Krasnodar.
It’s not the first time Mamaev has made waves in social media since Russia’s Euro 2016 exit.
Earlier, a barrage of criticism forced him to delete a photo on his Instagram account showing him on a private plane with the caption: “Yes, we lost. Yes, we’re out. But possibly it’s the best we could’ve done! Waiting for a sh*t storm in the comments…”
There were also reports that Mamaev was beaten up by his teammates during Euro 2016 for speaking rudely about Russia’s coach, Leonid Slutsky.
When the playmaker appeared on the pitch in the match against Wales he had a fresh cut above his right eye.