Russia captain Artem Dzyuba DROPPED from squad after X-rated video leaked online
Russia captain Artem Dzyuba will not join the squad for the upcoming three matches against Moldova, Turkey and Serbia after a video emerged online showing the footballer pleasuring himself.
“The situation with Artem Dzyuba has nothing to do with the Russian national team from a sports point of view," said Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov.
"Therefore, we see no need to give detailed evaluative comments on this matter. However, the coaching staff of the national team understands very well that the national team should prepare for the November matches with Moldova, Turkey and Serbia in conditions of maximum concentration and not be distracted by additional things."
Russia are set to meet Moldova in a friendly in Chisinau on Thursday, before UEFA Nations League matches away in Turkey and Serbia.
Cherchesov added: "We have always emphasized that both on the football field and outside it, everyone must match the level and status of a player of the national team.
"In this regard, today it was decided not to call Artem Dzyuba up to the current training camp in order to protect both the team and the player from excessive negativity and tension.
"Artem will have time to normalize the situation. I hope that this topic will no longer be raised during the team's work at this training camp."Also on rt.com Russia and Zenit captain Artem Dzyuba goes viral for all wrong reasons after 'masturbation video' appears online
Dyzuba set Russian social media networks alight on Saturday night when footage appeared showing the big forward lying in bed and masturbating.
Neither Dzyuba himself nor club team Zenit St Petersburg – where he is also captain – have formally commented on the video, but the 32-year-old forward has however blocked comments on his Instagram account.
Fans have picked up on the background noise in the video of the clip, which appears to be from a broadcast by Russia sports channel Match TV, where the voice of blonde presenter Maria Orzul can supposedly be heard.
The footballer and Orzul were romantically back in 2015 when both were married, although father-of-two Dzyuba later reconciled with wife Kristina.
Referring to clip, prominent Russian sports commentator Dmitry Guberniev wrote: "Again Artem Dzyuba alarmed everyone. And again everyone calls my friend Masha Orzul! We all know that Dzyuba is a passionate person, but this time Orzul has nothing to do with it! I know for sure!"
Dzyuba is due to lead club team Zenit out for their Russian Premier League clash against Krasnodar in St Petersburg later on Sunday.
The 6ft 4in star has helped the team to back-to-back league titles as well as a league and cup double last season.
The big target man has 26 goals in 47 games for Russia, emerging as a hero in the 2018 World Cup when he scored three times on the hosts' unlikely run to the quarterfinals, where they fell in a penalty shootout against Croatia.