Zenit St. Petersburg goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev said Sunday he was not guilty for turning his Twitter feed blue with an insult directed at Moscow rivals Spartak after winning the title Saturday.
As champagne bottles were popping in St. Petersburg all night long, many of Malafeev's 69,459 followers were surprised to read an obscene and offensive tweet mentioning Spartak.
Minutes later the Russian-language tweet was deleted but not before it had been redirected around cyberspace a few hundred times, attracting masses of complaints.
"I'm sorry, that was not me," Malafeev tweeted on Sunday. "I understand your reaction, that was unsuitable indeed. If I wrote that I wouldn't erase it or apologize. Some 'friends' took my phone when I went out."
Malafeev also said none of his Zenit teammates was involved.
Malafeev is a family-friendly tweeter who has never been known to post anything rude. He regularly interacts with fans, often promoting charities and other causes via the social network.
Zenit sealed the title with three games to spare on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Dynamo Moscow. They are to receive the trophy next Sunday after their penultimate game of the season - against Spartak.