MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. Russian national team footballers Pavel Mamaev and Alexander Kokorin, allegedly spent €250,000 on champagne partying in Monaco, did not want the Russian national anthem to be played at the notorious party and it was not them to finance the festivities, an organizer of the party told TASS.
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 each. 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.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity, the organizer said in an interview with TASS that Kokorin and his friend Mamaev asked to turn off the Russian national anthem when it began playing and it was done.
They were simply chilling out, he said, and did not want any loud music especially the national anthem to be played at that moment. However, we are living in times, when cellular phones equipped with cameras are everywhere as well as the available fast Internet, so the video from the party went viral although it was snatched out of the context, the organizer said.
It is a pity that the players were subjected to penalties by their football clubs, he said, and the Russian media turned the incident into hype. The organizer said he saw personally how Kokorin and Mamaev were leaving the club and they were one hundred percent sober as they had a glass of champagne at the most, but not more.
Loud and expensive parties are common for Monaco and people are having fun without thinking about money, the organizer said. We have many guests from Russia in our club and that night was not an exception when somebody recognized Kokorin and Mamaev and asked us to bring to their table ten bottles of champagne, while another guest asked to play the Russian anthem.
We also had a very important and respected guest of our club that night - not from Russia - who asked us who these two guys were as they were presented with ten bottles of champagne, the organizer said. When the guest was told that they were footballers he asked us to bring them fifty more bottles of champagne because this is the way the things are done here and it is part of the fun.
For instance, when we had Leonardo DiCaprio here our other guests were constantly asking us to bring champagne to his table, he said. This is Monaco and everyone is having fun as much as he wants.
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 its match against England with 1-1 draw, then lost its 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.