MOSCOW (AP) — Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov has apologized for screaming at a soccer referee over a stadium loudspeaker.

The leader of the Russian province was furious Sunday after Terek Grozny captain Rizvan Utsiev was dismissed for a bad challenge.

As the referee showed Utsiev a second yellow card, Kadyrov grabbed a microphone and shouted, "The ref's been bought off! You're an ass!" His voice boomed across the stadium.

Kadyrov said Monday that his reaction was "a cry from the soul of all Chechen fans" and accused the referee of bias against Terek in the Russian league game.

Russia's soccer governing body says it will investigate the incident.

Kadyrov has ruled Chechnya with an iron fist since 2005. A rabid soccer fan, the 36-year-old Kadyrov has played in Chechnya himself against veteran all-stars.

 

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