Russia’s Aleksandr Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev have been punished by their respective clubs for reportedly spending €250,000(!!!) on 500 bottles of top-shelf Armand de Brignac champagne for everyone in a Monte Carlo nightclub after their nation’s Euro 2016 group-stage exit. Oh, and they had the champagne brought out as the Russian national anthem played in the club. Thankfully, there is video.
Zenit’s Kokorin and Krasnodar’s Mamaev have both been fined and demoted to their clubs’ youth teams. Here’s Zenit’s amusing statement on the matter:
Zenit Football Club wish to state our extreme disappointment over the incident involving our player Alexander Kokorin.
Unfortunately, some Russian players can find themselves in these scandalous situations due to a lack of common sense and culture norms in their behavior in public places. We have conducted our own investigation into this episode and as it has given the entirity of Russian football damage to its reputation. Therefore the club have decided to move Alexander Kokorin to Zenit-2 and impose on him a substantial monetary fine.
Despite all signs pointing to their involvement (Mamaev posted video of a near identical champagne/anthem combo from a Dubai nightclub 18 months ago), Kokorin claims he and Mamaev had nothing to do with it and just happened to be there as someone else was celebrating a birthday.
Had Russia been happier with their national team’s performance at Euro 2016, this might not have been a punishable offense, but they weren’t, so it was. But this wasn’t the first spot of trouble Mamaev got himself into this summer.
Earlier, a barrage of criticism forced him to delete a photo on his Instagram account showing him on a private plane with the caption: “Yes, we lost. Yes, we’re out. But possibly it’s the best we could’ve done! Waiting for a sh*t storm in the comments…”
There were also reports that Mamaev was beaten up by his teammates during Euro 2016 for speaking rudely about Russia’s coach, Leonid Slutsky.
When the playmaker appeared on the pitch in the match against Wales he had a fresh cut above his right eye.
Every element of this story is spectacular.