A Russian TV football commentator walked out live on air during commentary after he became angry as a result of incompetent refereeing during a first division match.
Commentator Vladimir Nikolsky was running the commentary of a televised match between Russian first division teams Torpedo Vladimir and Tekstilshchik Ivanovo before storming out angrily leaving viewers to watch the remainder listening to dead air.
According to national paper Komsomolskaya Pravda, commentator Vladimir Nikolsky and several fans in the stadium became furious after centre referee Pyotr Miroshnichenko awarded a free kick outside the box instead of a blatant penalty kick.
With the match at 1-1 in the second half, Ivanovo goalkeeper Alexei Smirnov skittled the opposition’s attacking player and the referee awarded a free kick rather than a penalty.
Replays showed it was a blatant penalty and the video replays also revealed that the resulting free kick that was awarded was batted away through the hands of a defender which was another clear penalty but the referee waved play leading to the two-minute rant on the standard of officiating from Mr. Nikolsky.
He called the official “disgrace to Russian football”, he got up and stormed out, saying: “Watch the football without a commentator.”
The remainder of the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, was run without a commentator.
Speaking afterwards to Russian broadcaster RT, Mr Nikolsky, who works for Torpedo, said he didn’t regret his actions. In his words, he said:
“I become emotional when I see that our team is being hurt.”
His actions was backed by the team’s fan club, with its president Valery Puzanov telling RT that:
“He is not just an employee of the club, but a fan like me. If Nikolsky is punished, the club and the fans will support him. Nikolsky did everything right.”