[Source] - FORMER Russia star Roman Shirokov punched a referee in the face and then kicked after warning "give me red, and I'll hit you" in an amateur game on Monday. The veteran midfielder, 39, approached referee Nikita Danchenko and knocked him to the ground with a vicious hook after being shown the red card.
The match official said: "I spent four to four and a half hours in the hospital, then another 15-20 minutes in the emergency room.
"They put stitches everywhere, did a bunch of examinations. And most importantly, everything seems to be fine with me. What does not kill you will make you stronger, as they say. Therefore, we continue to go further and continue to work.
Maybe if you're playing in an amateur game that doesn't count, you just take it down a notch. Perhaps you're not going to get a call for a penalty kick, even if you're the former star of the Russian National Team. Maybe just take a moment, take a deep breath and make a joke with a ref. Again, this an amateur game and rules are different there.
Now I will say, he did warn the ref. He was very specific about his stance. If the ref gave him a red card, he was going to hit him. Maybe he needs to get a bit more specific and warn the ref he's going to clock him with a vicious hook to the dome. The ref may have been thinking, oh he's just joking, but if there's one thing to know about Russians it's that they don't joke about hitting you.
And how about the balls on the ref? Stitches everywhere, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? That's the definition of soccer tough right there. He's ready for the call up for rugby taking a punch like that, getting stitches and ready to get back to work. That's how you take a sucker punch and look like the tougher dude here. Then again you could, you know, just not viciously sucker punch a ref in the face.