Russian prosecutors have indicted fallen football star Roman Shirokov, the former captain of the Russian national team, over a horrifying attack on a referee during an amateur match that hospitalized the official.

Lawyers for Nikita Danchenkov, the referee floored by a punch from a seething Shirokov before the midfielder kicked him in the head as he lay on the floor, had suggested that the former Zenit and Spartak Moscow star could be tried for attempted murder after the shocking incident in the ‘Moscow Celebrity Cup’ exhibition.

The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has now approved an indictment accusing him of intentionally inflicting harm with “hooligan motives”, which a court will now assess as a potential criminal case.

Shamed Shirokov could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison should he be found guilty of the charges, which relate to his devastatingly violent reaction to a decision by Danchenkov during the game in mid-August.

Prosecutors for referee attacked by ex-Russia captain Roman Shirokov will seek to try him for ATTEMPTED MURDEROfficial Nikita Danchenkov spent 3 weeks in hospital after being punched to the ground & kicked in the head by Shirokov in a charity

A post shared by (@sportsru) on Aug 10, 2020 at 10:51am PDT

A post shared by Амкал Ultras (@amkal_ultras) on Aug 10, 2020 at 9:35pm PDT

After Danchenkov denied him a penalty, Shirokov is said to have insulted the man in the middle and reportedly warned him: “If you show a red [card], I’ll give you one.”

When he was duly dismissed, the 39-year-old’s rage drove a brutal attack that consigned battered Danchenkov to hospital with cuts and bruises to his face and one eye and a suspected broken elbow. 

Dedicated Danchenkov is a Russian Football Union referee with almost 54,000 Instagram followers.

“I spent four to four and a half hours in the hospital, then another 15-20 minutes in the emergency room,” he explained on the platform after his ordeal.

“They put stitches everywhere, did a bunch of examinations. And most importantly, everything seems to be fine with me.

A post shared by Nikita Danchenkov (@dante_71_) on Oct 3, 2020 at 12:48am PDT

A post shared by Роман Широков (@shirokovrn) on Aug 14, 2019 at 10:38am PDT

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“What does not kill you will make you stronger, as they say. Therefore, we continue to go further and continue to work.

“I want to thank everyone for the words of support. This is a difficult moment for me and my loved ones.”

An important figure in Russia’s squads at three consecutive European Championships tournaments between 2008 and 2016, Shirokov scored 13 goals in 57 games for his country and had worked as a pundit before news and footage emerged of his harrowing assault.

Alexander Ostrovsky, Shirokov’s lawyer, had wanted Shirokov to face a more serious charge.

“The blow to the head with terrible force can’t be called anything other than attempted murder,” he argued.

“Thank god [he] was able to put his hands up to protect himself.”

Shirokov was inundated with comments about the scandal when he made his only post on his Instagram account, which has more than 121,000 followers, after initially saying sorry for the attack.

Writing alongside a photo of Danchenkov, he said in his previous post: “I would like to express my sincere apologies to Nikita for such an inappropriate act.

“I am well aware that not [winning] an obvious penalty and then the red card shown cannot be a reason for waving my hands.

“I hope Nikita will return to service as soon as possible.”