Posted On Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 08:58:36 AM
Russian football captain and fan favourite Andrei Arshavin was ensnared in scandal on Tuesday after being caught on tape saying it was the fans’ “problem” that his squad were knocked out of Euro 2012.
Controversy around Russia’s most talismanic player broke almost immediately after the national squad failed to make the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 by losing a Saturday match against Greece they only needed to draw to progress.
News reports said Russian lawmakers who were staying at the same five-star Le Meridien Bristol Warsaw hotel as the players did not take the result lightly and made their sentiments known to the team.
“They accused the players of surrendering (Russia’s) national interests, of having a lack of will, and of destroying the hopes of millions of fans,” the Sovetsky Sport daily wrote.
Cellphone footage of the altercation posted on the LifeNews.ru website showed several lawmakers grilling a relaxed and seemingly bored Arshavin about the squad’s performance against Greece.
“What should we apologise for? What?” he demanded before repeating the word several times.
Lawmaker Anton Belyakov replied that the team “failed the expectations of millions of supporters” and should have said something after the loss.
“Whose expectations were these — yours or ours? If we did not fulfil your expectations, then honestly, these are your problems,” he said while leaning back casually in an hotel lobby armchair. Belyakov further accused some players of cursing fans who approached them at the locker room .