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Russia face centre-back crisis

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Russia's Aleksandr Kokorin right to apologise for party incident - RFS chief

Aleksandr Kokorin was seen in footage at a party in Monaco after Russia's Euro 2016 exit.

Russian Sports Minister and President of the Russian Football Union (RFS) Vitaly Mutko says Aleksandr Kokorin was right to apologise after attending a party with Pavel Mamaev following the national team's group-stage exit from Euro 2016.

Video footage online appeared to show Kokorin and Mamaev in a Monaco nightclub, with waiters carrying dozens of bottles of champagne as the Russian anthem played.

Kokorin's side Zenit St Petersburg and Mamaev's team FC Krasnodar said the players would be fined and sent to train with the clubs' youth squads, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an investigation into the incident.

Kokorin had said that he did not order the champagne and that he and Mamaev were simply present at someone else's birthday celebrations.

However, the forward then apologised on Friday for his participation at the event, although he reiterated that he had not spent €250,000 on champagne, nor requested the Russian anthem to be played.

"If Kokorin made true apologies, this is the right step. It is always right to admit one's mistakes," Mutko is quoted as saying by TASS.

Mutko, however, failed to say whether Kokorin's apology would be taken into account when a decision on the player's punishment is made.

"It is difficult for me to say right now," he said. "You see what the atmosphere is around the national football team now."

Russia -- who will host the World Cup in two years' time -- finished bottom of Group B at Euro 2016 after scoring just twice in their three games in France.

Reports in Russia claim Kokorin and Mamaev may not be called up to the Russia squad again following the incident.

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