Chechen strongman taunts referee, apologises later

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on Monday admitted to taking control of the public address system during a home match played by his local football team, Terek Grozny, to shout: “The referee is corrupt. You jerk!”



“Yes it was me, Ramzan Kadyrov,” he told the RIA Novosti news agency after his booming voice interrupted play in the match against Rubin Kazan on Sunday evening – which ended 0-0.



“I had serious reasons to do this. What’s more, my grievances against the referee are not only about this game,” he said.



“The actions of the referee require careful investigation. We must not allow one man to spoil the whole game.”



As the referee, Mikhail Vilkov, handed out a red card to the Terek captain Rizvan Utsiyev, an infuriated yell rang out across the stadium to cheers from the crowd, according to television footage posted on YouTube.



“What on Earth?” the television commentator said repeatedly.



Kadyrov late on Sunday wrote on his Instagram: “I apologise to the whole football world for what I said in the heat of the moment. But not to the referee, he deserved to be called corrupt.”



There were initial doubts about whether Kadyrov had himself spoken on the public address system or an announcer.



Kadyrov is named as the head of the Terek club on its website.



Kadyrov, who recently played host to French actor Gerard Depardieu and gave him an apartment in Grozny, rules Chechnya with a paternalistic yet informal style, travelling in a vast motorcade but rarely wearing a suit and tie.



A report on the incident has been sent to the Russian Football Union, the executive director of the Russian Premier League, Sergei Cheban, told the Interfax news agency.



The punishment could be a fine or holding matches behind closed doors, according to how the incident is classified, Russian media reported.



Kadyrov on Monday refused to back down.



“The decision of the Russian Football Union on this incident is law to us. However hard it is, we are ready to accept it. But I won’t take my words back,” he told journalists in Grozny.

Read more :
  • Howell, Gay and Lingmerth in playoff for Challenge
    LA QUINTA, California - Americans Charles Howell III, Brian Gay and Swede David Lingmerth took the Humana Challenge into a sudden-death playoff on the hosting Palmer Private course at PGA W...
  • Federer faces historic Wimbledon bid
    Roger Federer AFP PHOTO PARIS: Ten years after Roger Federer made his Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon, the 17-time major winner returns to the All England Club next week as defending ...
  • Rafael Nadal: Players want more freedom
    Rafael Nadal has claimed that tennis players want more freedom to choose which tournaments they play in. The 25-year-old is part of a group of players, including Andy Murray, who are set t...
  • Allardyce close to new Hammers deal
    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce on Wednesday claimed he is close to signing a new contract with the Premier League club. Allardyce's current deal with the Hammers expires at the end of the ...
  • United SC pip East Bengal for maiden IFA Shield triumph
    United SC rode on Ranty Martins' second-half strike to pip defending champions East Bengal and break their 14-match unbeaten run for their maiden IFA Shield title in Kolkata on Wednesday. ...
  • Radwanska’s run ends, off to the gym for more work
    MELBOURNE - Agnieszka Radwanska's most successful winning streak came to an end on Tuesday when she was knocked out of the Australian Open quarter-finals by China's Li Na, though the 23-yea...
  • Djokovic dream still alive after Wawrinka test
    MELBOURNE - Novak Djokovic survived an almighty scare from an inspired Stan Wawrinka in a five-hour, five-set thriller at the Australian Open on Sunday, reaching a 15th consecutive grand sl...
  • Murray shoots down weary Simon to reach last eight
    MELBOURNE - Andy Murray made harder work of it than many expected but still eased comfortably into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory over weary Frenchman ...