AceShowbiz - Fox TV bosses have apologised for broadcasting Robbie Williams' offensive middle finger salute during his World Cup kick-off gig in Russia on Thursday, June 14.
The former Take That star flipped the bird at cameras as Russian leader Vladimir Putin watched the pre-ceremony concert at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, just before host nation Russia took the field for their 5-0 drubbing of Saudi Arabia.
Putin had just welcomed the world to Russia for the soccer tournament before Robbie started performing songs like Rock DJ and Angels.
Robbie was a hit, but his gesture wasn't, and Fox bosses have apologised for airing it live in America.
"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 tells Deadline. "As it was broadcast live, we did not know what would happen during Robbie Williams' performance and we apologise".
Rupert Murdoch's company and Telemundo bosses hold the English and Spanish language rights to the 2018 World Cup in the U.S.