Russian team enlists bear to kick off league match!
Russian team enlists bear to kick off league match!
SportRussia is reportedly planning a shocking opening to the World Cup Posted byTom Victor Published10 seconds agoShareTweet
17 April, 2018, 22:08
The Russian Football League has received criticism from animal rights activists after a captive bear was used to perform tricks ahead of a third division fixture.
In a soccer match in Russian Federation on Sunday, a bear named Tima was led to the stadium named Mashuk-KMV Pyatigorsk club's stadium where the match was happening.
After being led out onto the side of the pitch before kick-off, the bear lead a round of applause whilst stood on his hind legs. With the referee taking the ball from the animal's claws, it then appears to join in with applause from the crowd.
The weird footage has been criticised by animal rights charities, with Elisa Allen, director of animal welfare charity Peta, calling it "utterly out of touch".
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Angusht, a third-tier soccer team from Nazran, said in a social media post Sunday that the bear is set to perform this summer at the opening ceremony of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow, though Federation Internationale de Football Association officials denied that claim, according to the BBC.
"In addition to being inhumane, using a bear as a captive servant to deliver a football is downright risky", Allen was quoted as saying by the BBC Sport.
'The bear is the symbol of Russian Federation, so we hope the country's people will show some compassion and national pride and stop abusing them. The bear, reportedly known as Tim, was also involved in some pre-match activities.
She said that bears are wild and their hnadlers should always take note of their needs.
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