Former Russian Premier League referee Igor Fedotov has called out ex-Russian captain Roman Shirokov to an MMA fight after the player savagely attacked and hospitalized a young referee who sent him off during a charity match.
Shirokov, who garnered a bad boy reputation as a player in a career in which he won 57 international caps, was reported to police after becoming incensed by a red card shown by official Nikita Danchenko during a ‘Moscow Celebrity Cup’ match.
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An enraged Shirokov swung a punch that knocked Danchenko to the floor, before following up with a kick the face as the 24-year-old lay defenceless on the floor.
Danchenko was treated for cuts and bruises to his face and suffered a suspected broken elbow in the attack, after which he made it known he intended to press charges against the former Zenit, CSKA and Spartak midfielder.
Now Fedotov, who quite refereeing in Russia’s top division in 2018, has decided to take the law of the game into his own hands and deliver punishment outside of the traditional red and yellow card system.
In a YouTube video titled “Roman has the chance to answer for his actions”, the 43-year-old said he would make all necessary arrangements to organize an MMA fight as retribution.
“I want to call out Roman Shirokov for a fight under MMA rules, after the incident in which he attacked a referee on the pitch,” Fedotov said in a YouTube video posted to the account of Russian sports journalist Mikhail Borzykin on Sunday.
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“Roman, I’m calling you out. We’ll have all the required gear, cornermen, I’ll hire a ring and ringside doctors, because I will try not to leave you standing on your own two feet. If you’re such a bigshot, you should accept my challenge.”
Shirokov, currently a football pundit on Russian sports channel Match TV, has already been described as having what it takes to be a cage fighter by former teammate and Spartak legend Andrey Tikhonov.
“Roman could compete in MMA. The guy grew up in an area at a difficult time, a lot of things like this happened then in Dedovsk (Moscow region),” Tikhonov said in an interview with Sport-Express.
“But I’m not saying that these things should be done on the street, in no case whatsoever. Better in the ring.”
Shirokov was outwardly remorseful after the incident, even posting a long apology Danchenko, but the official insisted he would be pressing charges regardless.