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 :
  • Sport England slash tennis funding
    Sport England have reacted to disappointing tennis participation results by cutting funding for the sport by over ?500,000. A Sport England Active People survey revealed that the average n...
  • Prandelli mum on team for Malta qualifier
    Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will leave the selection of his starting line-up for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Group B's bottom side Malta until the last minute. Before leaving fo...
  • Folayang Wants Rematch With Iranian Grappler
    Eduard Folayang (right) battles Kamal Shalorus in One FC: Rise to Power. AFP FILE PHOTO Top Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang is seeking a rematch a...
  • Two Filipinos advance in Ultimate 10-Ball tourney
    Former world champion Alex Pagulayan and Carlo Biado advanced to the fourth round of the Ultimate 10-Ball Championships being held at the Harrah’s Resort in Tunica, Mississippi. Pagulayan ...
  • Abu Dhabi win proves Donaldson was right not to retire
    ABU DHABI - Jamie Donaldson refused to listen when a doctor told him to quit golf and, nine years on, vindication of his decision to carry on came when the Briton scored the best win of his...
  • Maria Sharapova confirms Fed Cup appearance
    Maria Sharapova has confirmed that she will represent Russia in their Fed Cup round one match against Spain in February. With the Australian Open due to take place in January, doubts had a...
  • Baseball Hall of Famer and Cardinals legend Stan Musial dead at 92
    ST. LOUIS - Hall of Fame baseball player Stan Musial, who used an unorthodox batting style to become one of the sport's greatest hitters in 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, died on ...
  • For sale, one used Olympic basketball arena
    LONDON - The London Olympic basketball arena graced by NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James last year has been put up for sale. Potential purchasers have the option of buying the venue c...