St. Petersburg, May 20 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Roman Shirokov has apologised for making an obscene gesture at his team’s fans during a game.
Shirokov was booed by large sections of the crowd during Sunday’s 3-1 home win over FC Volga, apparently for congratulating arch-rivals CSKA Moscow on winning the Russian Premier League title on Twitter.
After scoring the third goal in injury time, the midfielder received a straight red card for directing an obscene gesture at the stands.
Zenit security held the 31-year-old player in the media zone for his own protection until the Zenit supporters left the arena.
“I regret what happened. I regret what I did. I admit that this gesture was completely unattractive. But together with that I’d like to clear up what exactly happened. This gesture was addressed to the people who were insulting me,” Shirokov said on the Zenit website.
Shirokov has often had a fraught relationship with Zenit fans, partly because he started his career with rival Moscow team CSKA. Last year, a video went viral on YouTube showing Shirokov angrily remonstrating with Zenit fans who goaded him about his CSKA past.
He has played for Zenit since 2008, winning the Russian title twice, and is a regular for the Russian national team with 32 caps.–IANS/RIA Novosti