Bear delivers game ball at Russian soccer game

Florence Fletcher
April 17, 2018

If someone told you that football matches in Russian Federation were started with a bear ceremonially handing the match ball to the referee, you would probably accuse them of lazy stereotyping.

In this image taken from video provided by FC Angusht Nazran a bear performs before a Russian Second League soccer match between Angusht Nazran and Mashuk-KMV in Pyatigorsk, Russia on Sunday, April 15, 2018.

The clip shows a muzzled bear led to the stadium by a handler.

It then hands it over to the referee before clapping along with the crowd.

The group director delved deeply by describing the situation, hence giving support for their stance-why they consider the move tormenting for animals.

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She said: "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". Common decency should compel the league to pull this stunt'.

There's rumours the bear was to be used at the first match of the FIFA World Cup - however organisers have distanced themselves from the suggestion.

Brian da Cal, country director of Four Paws UK, said: "While some supposedly find this depressing scene "entertaining" there is nothing at all light-hearted about this kind of abuse".

She said that bears are wild and their hnadlers should always take note of their needs.

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