And so it begins.
Chosen by FIFA as sole performer in the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 World Cup held in Russia over the next month, brazen British pop star Robbie Williams kicked off the tournament in controversial style by giving a one-finger salute.
After stepping onto the football pitch of Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium flanked by the OG Ronaldo, the 44-year-old former Take That singer — who was wearing a red velour leopard print tux — performed three of his biggest hits on stage, including his 1997 classic “Angels” and a “Let Me Entertain You” duet with Russian singer Aida Garifullina.
But it was his last song “Rock DJ” which drew the most attention, since Williams showed his middle finger to the camera during the performance.
Given that Russia recently took a stricter stance towards the display of explicit language on TV and offenders may face “fines of between $70 and $1,400”, FOX later apologized for broadcasting the gesture as their footage may have broken the law.
The least we can say is that it is quite a memorable way for the 2018 World Cup to fizzle into existence.