MOSCOW, August 29. /TASS/. Russian football players Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev, who were in the focus of media last month over their flamboyant behavior in Monaco, must first restore trust of fans before they can return to national team, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Monday.
Both players were not included in the roster of the national team ahead of upcoming friendly matches, with the first to be played against Turkey this Wednesday.
"Kokorin and Mamaev need to cover a certain distance and restore the trust of football fans," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said.
"They need to prove it with their play and behavior and only then they will have chances of returning to the national team," Mutko said adding that "Kokorin is a very perspective player."
Mamaev and Kokorin allegedly spent 250,000 euros on champagne partying in Monaco after their weak performance at the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup.
Life.ru news portal reported in early July that Kokorin and Mamaev were partying at Twiga club and ordered some 500 bottles of Armand de Brignac champagne costing 500 euros 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.
The incident with Kokorin and Mamaev provoked a public outcry particularly after the national team’s poor performance in June at the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup in France.
In late June 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.