Moscow, July 6 (IANS) Russia footballers Pavel Mamaev and Alexander Kokorin’s behaviour at a party in Monaco, where they allegedly spent 250,000 (around $276,000) on champagne, was a manifestation of “vain disgrace”, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
Life.ru news portal reported on Tuesday that Kokorin and Mamaev were partying at Twiga club and ordered some 500 bottles of Armand de Brignac champagne costing 500 ($553) each, according to Tass.
Life.ru quoted an eyewitness as saying that champagne was served while the Russian national anthem was playing and the party was accompanied with a fireworks display.
“Everyone heard about this incident, including the Russian president,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. “The incident was widely covered by media and received an enormous public response.”
Peskov, however, called on media to be unbiased and “at first to find out whether this vain disgrace was paid by our footballers or by someone else.”
“It is easy casting stones onto someone without any proof,” he said. “We need to clearly understand whether that braggadocio was at their own expense or paid for by their friends.”
Peskov said that if it turned out that the party was paid by the footballers “God be the judge for them,” adding that President Putin “is informed about the incident just like all the rest”.
Asked whether it was necessary to cut salaries paid to players in the Russian national football team, Peskov said, “this issue cannot and must not be discussed in the Kremlin, moreover at the level of the head of state”.
Kokorin told TASS on Tuesday that he and his teammate Mamaev had nothing to do with paying for the party. According to him, someone else had a birthday party at the night club whereas he and Mamaev were just sitting there.
The incident with Kokorin and Mamaev received a public outcry, particularly after the national team’s poor performance at the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup in France last month.
Last month the Russian national team lost to Wales 0-3 in its third group stage match of the 2016 Euro and failed to qualify to the next round of Last 16.
Playing in Group B at the Euro Cup, which kicked off on June 10, Russia ended their match against England with 1-1 draw, then lost their encounters with Slovakia and Wales 1-2 and 0-3 respectively.
Having finished in the last place of the group, the Russian players, who are reportedly enjoying enormous salaries in the team, returned to Moscow. Some players decided to linger in Europe taking a vacation.