2018 FIFA World Cup: Fox apologizes for Robbie Williams’s middle finger at opening ceremony

Who knew a soccer tournament could incite such controversy?

While performing at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Moscow, British pop singer Robbie Williams proudly flipped his middle finger directly to camera, in full view of the shocked U.S. audiences watching the tournament on Fox. He made the gesture after altering the words to his song “Rock DJ,” singing “I did this for free.”

The network was quick to apologize. “The 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony was a newsworthy event produced by a third party and carried live on Fox,” a spokesperson for Fox Sports told Deadline on Thursday. “As it was broadcast live, we did not know what would happen during Robbie Williams’ performance and we apologize.”

The opening ceremony also featured a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin before the opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Williams is not the first entertainer to bring audiences unexpected live entertainment. Click here to see the most awkward moments on live TV.

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