It's World Cup season and dramas are due all over a month of footballing action in Russia. And the opening ceremony on Thursday at Luzhniki Stadium, before the kick-up between Russia and Saudia Arabia, was no short of drama.
The host won the game over Saudi Arabia by 5-0, Yury Gazinskiy opened the scoring for Russia, being the first player to score at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Substitute Denis Cheryshev (2), Artem Dzyuba, Aleksandr Golovin added in the win.
VIDEO: 2018 FIFA World Cup opener - Russia Vs Saudi Arabia highlights
During the ceremony, U.K. pop star Robbie Williams gave the middle finger to the camera while performing. Singing his hit, Rock DJ, Williams turned towards the camera directly changing the lyrics to 'I did this for free' before lifting up his finger.
VIDEO: Singer Robbie Williams shows middle finger while performing at the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Robbie Williams randomly putting the middle finger up at the World Cup ceremony pic.twitter.com/QMoHjOYJll
— Filipe Orlando (@MrFilipeOrlando) June 14, 2018
Condemning and apologizing for Williams gesture, Fox released a statement,
The 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony was a newsworthy event produced by a third party and carried live on Fox. As it was broadcast live, we did not know what would happen during Robbie Williams’ performance and we apologize.
The 44-year old singer was later joined by Russian soprano Aida Garifullina. Russian president Vladimir Putin also gave a speech at the opening ceremony, saying,
We are sincerely happy to host the World Cup in our country,
Football is truly loved here. Russia is an open, hospitable and friendly country.
Fox and NBCUniversal's Telemundo own the U.S. media rights for this year's World Cup for English and Spanish language broadcasts respectively.