Zenit player sent off for celebrating goal with rude gesture aimed at own fans

Brooks Peck
May 19, 2013

In the 59th minute of Zenit St. Petersburg's final home match of the Russian Premier League season, 31-year-old Russian international Roman Shirokov was brought on to boos and jeers. In the first minute of injury time, Shirokov put away the final goal in Zenit's 3-1 win against Volga Nizhny and he celebrated by giving fans behind the goal an "up yours" gesture as payback for his reception half an hour earlier. The referee then showed the striker with a history of being unfriendly a straight red and he was off.

Shirokov was probably jeered in the first place because he tweeted "CSKA deserved the championship!" after CSKA Moscow sealed the league title on Saturday, leaving second place to Zenit. This isn't the best way to endear yourself to your own fans.

Prior to Euro 2012, ITV explained his reputation for cause controversy like this:

That [big-game] mentality has its downsides, though, as a number of disciplinary scrapes have given Shirokov something of a bad-boy reputation in Russia. He's known as 'Mister Twitter' in his homeland, apt - much like Joey Barton - to use social media to vent his uncompromising views. Shirokov once famously referred to fans of rival club Spartak Moscow as "pigs", and to Slovakia's national side as "a bunch of farmers".

So it seems this is just Roman Shirokov being Roman Shirokov.