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16th Apr 2018

WATCH: Bear used to deliver match-ball to football game in Russia

Unconfirmed reports claim we could be seeing this at the World Cup

Simon Lloyd

Unconfirmed reports claim this was a rehearsal to see if the bear could perform a ball handover at the World Cup this summer.

Let’s be honest, that whole mascot-at-football-games thing was in need of something a bit different… this though, we’re not too sure about…

Footage doing the rounds on Twitter shows the moment a brown bear was brought along to a Russian Professional Football League (Russia’s third tier) game between Mashuk-KMV and FC Angusht Nazran over the weekend, tasked with delivering the match-ball.

Standing on its hind legs, the bear can be seen holding onto the ball while standing beside the pitch, moments before kick-off. With the referee taking the ball from the animal’s claws, it then appears to join in with applause from the crowd.

Understandably, the sight of a bear being used in this way won’t sit well with lots of animal lovers watching the footage. Worse still, Who Ate All The Pies point out that there are some reports -unconfirmed at this stage – that the bear was given this task to see whether it could be used as part of a similar handover ahead of the opening match of the World Cup later this summer.