Captain of the Estonian men's national football team Konstantin Vassiljev, has spoken about the recent scandal, which emerged after a group of current and former Estonian international footballers posed for a picture with Russian head coach Valeri Karpin. The photo, which was shared on social media was criticised as inappropriate in light of Russia's war in Ukraine.
"We made our official statement about it and after that, all those other opinions came out. Those are their views, we cannot prevent them (from voicing them). I have nothing more to add," Vassiljev told Delfi Sport.
The Estonian men's team captain went on to say, that it had been inappropriate to share the photo publicly but that the players involved had already made a public statement apologizing for their involvement.
"It seems to me, that people got a bit carried away with their emotions. We realized that it was the wrong time to publish the picture publicly and that it was also inappropriate," Vassiljev said.
Vassiljev added, that he tries to avoid politics and would instead prefer to just concentrate on football. "We are a democratic country and everyone can say what they think about (the photo). We are trying to concentrate on football," said Vassiljev.
At the end of the interview, Vassiljev added, than in his view, Russia's war in Ukraine is absolute madness and must be stopped.
"I am prepared to say, that what is happening is total madness and it has to stop. It is not up to me, unfortunately, but those who (it is up to), have to act. We have said, that war is not normal. What is happening is bad," Vassiljev said.
Vassiljev was one of a group of both current and former Estonian men's national football team players pictured socializing with Russian head coach Valeri Karpin over the New Year holidays.
The photo, which was posted on Instagram by former national team defender Andrei Stepanov, attracted heated reactions on social media, with many feeling the meeting was inappropriate in light of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
Editor: Michael Cole