‘They’re ruining him’: Wife of Russian football star Kokorin fumes after he’s jailed for 18 months
Zenit St Petersburg forward Kokorin, 28, was sentenced by a Moscow judge this week along with fellow Russia international Pavel Mamaev, a midfielder for Krasnodar.
The pair were found guilty of hooliganism over two assaults which followed a night spent partying in the Russian capital.Also on rt.com Russian football stars Kokorin & Mamaev sentenced to combined 3 years in prison colony over brawls
One incident involved an attack on government official Denis Pak in an upmarket café, where Kokorin hit him with a wooden chair, while the other saw a driver hospitalized after being beaten.
Mamaev was handed a sentence of 17 months in a penal colony, while the court also convicted Kokorin's younger brother, Kirill, to 18 months, along with a friend of the trio.
Kokorin’s wife, Daria Valitova, has lashed out at the ruling, saying that her husband's career is effectively "ruined."
“I do not even know who this could be necessary for. Seven whole months [more to serve]!” she fumed, as quoted by Russian media.
“What the hell is this? His career is over. And how will he see his children? For people, the show was staged for two weeks. The series continues!
“How is it possible to bully such talented people, to ruin them?”
On Thursday, Valitova posted a series of photos of her and her husband on Instagram, as well as together with Mamaev and his wife, model Alana Mamaeva.
After the decision, Mamaeva posted a photo of herself in court with the line: "It was one of the most difficult days."
The footballers’ seven months already in detention will count as time served, with Mamaev due for release in mid-November this year, and Kokorin around one month later.
The high-profile case has been followed closely by Russian football fans and broader society, involving as it does two players who have both represented their country.
Kokorin, once rumouredto be an Arsenal target, has made 48 appearances for the national team, while Mamaev, 30, has made 15 appearances – the last coming in 2016.
The Russian Football Federation has already said it has “no current relationship” with the pair, although it remains to be seen whether they can rebuild their club careers in Russia or elsewhere.