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Robbie Williams kicks off World Cup 2018 with obscene gesture

World Cup 2018: British pop star Robbie Williams caused a stir during his performance at the World Cup opening ceremony in Moscow on Thursday by making an obscene gesture to a camera.

WORLD cup 2018
English musician Robbie Williams performs during the Russia World Cup opening ceremony before the tournament’s first match between Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14, 2018 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. / AFP

The former Take That frontman raised his middle finger at the end of his performance at the Luzhniki Stadium after appearing to mouth the words “I did this for free”.

The 44-year-old performed the opening show of the World Cup 2018 alongside Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, with the two singing a duet of his hit solo song ‘Angels’.

Williams had also sparked controversy in Russia two years ago for promoting stereotypes about the country with his song ‘Party Like a Russian’.

He said when his performance at the ceremony was announced on Monday that it was “a boyhood dream” and would be “an unforgettable show”.

Williams was performing in front of 80,000 World Cup 2018 crowd at the stadium, and a global television audience of tens of millions.

WORLD cup 2018
British singer Robbie Williams performs during the opening ceremony before the Russia World Cup 2018 Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018. / AFP

The ceremony was followed by the opening match with hosts Russia routing Saudi Arabia 5-0.


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