To exclude, to expel:
Robbie Williams will perform at half-time at Sunday’s Soccer Aid game, aimed at helping victims of the Ukrainian war – but his appearance has sparked controversy after he had previously cashed in on tournaments. Russian tycoon
Photo: Daily Mirror)
Robbie Williams faces charges of hypocrisy for promoting a football match to help Ukrainian war victims after making money from previous Russian oligarchs.
The star will perform in the first half of Sunday’s Soccer Aid game, an event he founded in 2006.
However, his appearance has caused controversy because of his previous financial connections with super-rich Russians, some of whom are now punished for having close ties to Vladimir Putin, who recently invaded Ukraine.
While those gigs come long before the Kremlin’s tanks go into battle at the end of February, Robbie has always remained silent about his performances. Nor did he comment on the invasion.
Some other stars who played for the oligarchs said they would not do it again because of the Ukraine war.
Labor MP Chris Bryant, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Russia, said: “I’ve been a longtime fan but Robbie should be ashamed.
“His behavior is despicable and hypocritical. He has performed for people closely connected with those who financed and supported Putin’s barbaric invasion. Robbie should hand over every ruble he earns to rebuild Ukraine. A source close to Soccer Aid added: “Robbie’s involvement, or at least his refusal to address the issue of his Russian oligarch’s programs, is the tone of the voice being taken away. deaf. The whole thing was extremely upsetting.”
In 2018, Robbie played at a private party to celebrate the 25th anniversary of MegaFon, the Russian mobile phone company controlled by oligarch Alisher Usmanov.
The former Arsenal FC shareholder was sanctioned by No10 in March for “associating with individuals within the Russian government who were involved in destabilizing and threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence”.
VICKIE FLORES / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)
Robbie also performed for members of Putin’s inner circle in Moscow in 2014, though he certainly wouldn’t know of the terror the dictator would inflict on Ukraine eight years later.
According to emails leaked by Ukrainian hackers, former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich hosted a New Year’s Eve event for 100 guests.
Among them, apparently, was Putin’s former aide, Vladislav Surkov, who recently called for the annexation of Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states before the invasion.
He has been sanctioned by both the EU and the US. Abramovich was punished by No10 in March.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss spoke of the financiers being punished by the UK for “having close links with Putin, they were complicit in his aggression”.
In 2018, Robbie caused fury among MPs by singing during the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Moscow. The event was boycotted by the British government following the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury.
In 2016, the singer was reportedly paid £1.6 million to perform at the wedding of Russian oil tycoon Rashid Sardarov’s daughter Victoria in the Czech capital Prague.
AFP via Getty Images)
While the proceeds from Sunday’s game at London Stadium will help children around the world, Soccer Aid and UNICEF said: “The money raised this year can help provide space. safety to protect children in times of crisis, such as the conflict in Ukraine. All 7.5 million Ukrainian children are affected.
Robbie said of the event, which is being shown on ITV: “On Sunday 12 June I will be singing Angels in front of 60,000 people at London Stadium. Tickets are selling fast, so I urge everyone to hurry up and grab them.
“Everyone will support Soccer Aid for UNICEF, which has raised £60m since we started 16 years ago.” Sting sang at the lavish wedding of his son Mikhail Gutseriev Said in Moscow, five years before the tycoon was sanctioned by the EU. The star said in March: “There is no tycoon in any position to book a gig, a wedding or a party. Those days are over.”
His spokesman added that the star was “appalled” by the invasion of Ukraine and would not perform shows for anyone with links to the Putin regime.
Elton John insists he won’t be performing any shows in Russia “or for anyone connected to Putin”, nor does Deep Purple. The band performed at a small theater in the Kremlin on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the gas giant Gazprom in 2008.
Singer Ian Gillan called it a “sacrifice, but nothing compared to never seeing our Ukrainian friends who are being killed again”.
UNICEF declined to comment. Robbie’s poster did not respond to a request for comment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/robbie-williams-branded-hypocritical-over-27204077 Robbie Williams branded 'hypocritical' in Ukraine gigs due to links to Russian oligarchs