Fox Apologizes After Robbie Williams Flips Off Camera During World Cup Opening Ceremony

Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Robbie Williams performs during the opening ceremony prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium on June 14, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off Thursday (June 14) in Moscow with a set of opening ceremony festivities, including a performance by British singer Robbie Williams. During a performance of "Rock DJ," Williams flashed his middle finger directly into the camera on live television -- which prompted the game’s broadcaster Fox to issue an apology.

Williams’ performance and gesture came in the midst of a 20-minute ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium that also featured a speech from Russian President Vladimir Putin and elaborate dances.

In a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox explained that while their network did not produce the show, they are deeply sorry for what took place. "The 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony was a newsworthy event produced by a third party and carried live on Fox. As it was broadcast live, we did not know what would happen during Robbie Williams’ performance and we apologize."

This is the first time Russia is hosting the World Cup. In the initial game against Saudi Arabia, the host country reigned supreme 5-0.

Watch fan-captured footage of Robbie Williams’ performance below: