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Robbie Williams Explains His Gesture During The World Cup Opening Ceremony

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Robbie Williams Explains His Gesture During The World Cup Opening Ceremony

Featured Image Credit: PA

For some people, the World Cup 2018 opening ceremony was a minor annoyance before the wall-to-wall football could get underway. For others it was much more exciting than anything that will happen over the next month or so.

Either way, when Robbie Williams is involved you can pretty much guarantee that something silly, bizarre or controversial is going to happen and, sure enough, he didn't disappoint.

To start with, his participation was questioned in the first place - he'd already wound up the whole country with the release of his critique of Russian high society, 2016's 'Party Like A Russian' - but that wasn't what caused a stir this time.

He only went and flipped off the entire viewing public as he was performing at the world's largest sporting event.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Yes, Robbie used the biggest stage that even he - a hugely successful pop star - has ever played on to give the finger to the billions watching around the world.

Well, Robbie appeared on This Morning earlier today to explain his decision and, as you might imagine, it wasn't exactly a heartfelt apology.


He said: "At these things, it's really important not to cause an international incident, and do you know what? I managed it."

Just about, Rob.

He then made the nonsensical claim that the gesture was to symbolise the amount of time (one minute) until the kick off.

He continued: "I was under a lot of pressure because there was one minute left and I didn't know if I could do it in half a minute. So, I just did a one-minute countdown."

He then added: "I can't trust me, I don't know what I'm going to do at any time. The plan was to sing in key, don't fall over. That was the plan and 99 percent of that plan, I pulled off.

"Nothing actually passes into my head. There's a block between me and sense, and something happened and five minutes later I'm like, 'Did I just...? Yeah I did, didn't I?'"

That sounds more like the real reason. None of these 'countdown to kick off' or 'trying not to cause an international incident' cop-outs.

Outside of his antics on the field, he has also taken some flak for agreeing to appear at the show at all. The head of the Global Magnitsky Justice campaign, Bill Browder, tweeted: "There's lots of ways to make money @robbiewilliams, but selling your soul to a dictator shouldn't be one of them. Shame on you."

To be fair, he did actually change the lyrics of 'Rock DJ' to suggest that he worked for nothing.

Perhaps it was a countdown after all. Credit: PA
Perhaps it was a countdown after all. Credit: PA

Hell, he was probably just happy to be invited.

It also takes a fair amount of balls to flip off the world at an event organised by Vladimir Putin.

Topics: This Morning, 2018, Russia 2018, Celebrity, FIFA, Music, Robbie Williams, World Cup, ITV, Russia

Tom Wood
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