The decision to book Robbie Williams to perform at the opening ceremony of the World Cup has raised eyebrows, with a song called ‘Party Like A Russian’ among the former Take That star’s back catalogue.
The track, which appears to criticise the excesses of Russian oligarchs, was the lead single on his 2016 album ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show’.
It features lyrics such as: “It takes a certain kind of man with a certain reputation to alleviate the cash from a whole entire nation.
“Take my loose change and build my own space station, ain’t no refutin’ or disputin’ – I’m a modern Rasputin, subcontract disputes to some brutes in Louboutin, act highfalutin’ while my boys put the boots in.”
FIFA did not immediately respond to questions from the Press Association about whether it or the local organisers had been aware of the song when Williams was booked to perform, or whether some or all of the song would feature in his performance.
The opening ceremony takes place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday, half an hour before kick-off in the first match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Williams said opening the event to 80,000 fans and many millions all over the world was a boyhood dream, and added: “We’d like to invite football and music fans to party with us in Russia, in the stadium, or to tune in their TVs a little earlier for an unforgettable show.”