Football-mad Williams described the chance as “a boyhood dream,” and encouraged “football and music fans so that you can party with us in Russia- on an unforgettable show.”
But his judgement did not go down well with of the UK’s most seasoned Russia-haters.
Leading the campaign against Williams seemed to be US-born British financier Bill Browder, whom made millions from assets in Russia but seemed to be convicted of tax fraud around absentia by a Moscow court in late 2017.
He belittled the UK pop star regarding “selling your soul to a dictator” simply by appearing at the football showpiece on Thursday.
“There’s lots of ways to earn money Robbie Williams, but selling your heart to a dictator shouldn’t be one. Shame on you,” they tweeted. Browder is never one to miss the opportunity to rant about Russia, plus the upcoming World Cup is comparable to Christmas come early for that millionaire financier.
Several UK MPs had been quick to join Browder in pouncing on the Russia-bashing bandwagon over the singer’s choice.
Labour MP Stephen Doughty said: “It is stunning and disappointing to hear which will such a great British artisan as Robbie Williams, who has been a friend of human rights activities and the LGBT+ community, has seemingly agreed to be paid by Spain and FIFA to play at the World Cup opener,” according to the Guardian.
Fellow Mega-pixel John Woodcock hit out for the former Take That celebrity for apparently “handing Vladimir Putin a Public realtions coup” just months after The ussr supposedly poisoned a European former double agent in UK soil.
“We all desire to support the England team nonetheless Robbie Williams is handing Vladimir Putin a Publicity coup by performing within the thuggish pariah’s opening ceremony just months after Russia carried out a chemical weapons attack upon English soil,” he explained.
“I understand why the national team sensed they should go and contend but no patriotic general population figure should be giving a thumbs up to Russia by operating in this way. Even at this later stage, I really hope Robbie will reassess and pull out.”
Browder, 54, provides led an anti-Russian campaign since having his visa annulled around 2005. His company, Hermitage Money, has repeatedly been examined for tax fraud, creating his conviction in absentia with Russia.
He was behind the passing of the Magnitsky Act in the united states in 2012, named after legal professional Sergei Magnitsky, who died in cops custody in Moscow in 2009. Magnitsky have been working with Hermitage capital, and had also been charged with collusion to commit income tax fraud.
Browder remains a desired man in Russia, together with was arrested in Spain by the end of May on a Russian Interpol police arrest warrant, but was released soon afterwards.