Vladimir Nikolsky, a Russian television commentator, walked out midway on-air during a football match in anger over the poor referring standards in the game. Despite an apparently clear penalty, the referee refused to give one and when a similar incident happened again, the commentator had enough. He went on a rant on the shoddy officiating and left the mic, according to a story by BBC. The rest of the match was aired in silence.
The Russian first division football match between Torpedo Vladimir and Tekstilshchik Ivanovo was level at 1-1 when the incident occurred. The Ivanovo goalkeeper Alexei Smirnov reportedly felled a player in the penalty area, but the referee Pyotr Miroshnichenko gave a free kick instead of a penalty kick. To compound the errors, the free kick was reportedly off a defender’s hands, which would have been another penalty but it was ignored.
The second gaffe was too much for Nikolsky who then went on a two-minute long spiel on how the referee was a “disgrace to Russian football” and then walked out saying “Watch the football without a commentator,” continued the BBC report, quoting a Russian news outlet.
The match ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw.
While bad officiating can rile anyone up, in Nikolsky’s case it was even more emotional because he is a member of the Torpedo Vladimir club. The local league has the clubs providing their own commentators and broadcast services for matches, so that TV companies don’t have to travel too much. The commentator even told Russian broadcaster RT that he got emotional because his team was being hurt.
Here’s the video, and even if one doesn’t understand Russian, the commentator’s tone at the referee’s decision is unmistakable.