Singer Robbie Williams Kicks off World Cup With Finger to Viewers on Live TV

United Kingdom pop singer Robbie Williams performed during the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup on Thursday in Russia, and he left fans talking about a lot more than soccer.

While singing his hit single "Rock DJ," Williams turned towards one of the cameras and smiled as he gave fans watching at home the middle finder.

Deadline reports Fox Sports declined to comment on Williams' gesture.

Fans watching along at home didn't care for the gesture.

"I am not saying Robbie Williams at the World Cup is the worst thing I have ever seen but it is definitely up there," one viewer wrote.

"Robbie Williams is an insufferable prick. Pass it on," wrote another.

"#robbiewilliams - showing young girls that the bad lad who you thought was cool always turns into a fat old ballbag eventually," a viewer tweeted."

Williams was originally a member of the British pop group Take That from 1990-95 and again from 2009-12, but found ample success as a solo artist. He broke out with 10 studio albums reaching No. 1 on the UK charts along with seven No. 1 singles. Six of his solo albums have reached the top 10 best-selling albums list for the UK, earning him the honor of being the best-selling British artist in history. He also hold the records for most Brit Awards at 18 and is in the Guiness Book fo World Records for selling the most concert tickets in a day — topping out at 1.6 million in a single day for his World Tour in 2006.

British outlet The Daily Mail reported on Thursday Williams could face an arrest for the gesture, "if it is proved it was meant to be an insult." Russian's laws on the matter dictate a person could be charged for outraging public decency, which can lead to a fine of up to 6,000 euros.

"It needs to be proved that the gesture was intended to be an insult and an expert has to testify in the court that it was an insult," a legal source told the outlet.


The performance took place just before the first game in pool play between Russia and Saudi Arabia, where the home team won in dominant fashion 5-0.

Matches will continue on Friday with Egypt vs. Uruguay, Morocco vs. Iran and Portugal vs. Spain.