A bear was used to hand over the matchball and get the crowd going before a Russian third division game.
You read that correctly.
Ahead of FC Mashuk-KMV Pyatigorsk v. FC Angusht on Saturday in the Russian city of Pyatigorsk a trained bear, named Tima, gave the ball to the referee as his trainer watched on with both sets of players stood a few feet away and plenty of fans in the stands.
This isn’t something I can be accused of often, but words, in this case, fail me.
World Animal Protection group have condemned these scenes and believe “cruel training methods have been used” on Tima.
The video above shows the bear walking along the running track alongside the pitch with his trainer, then handing the ball over before clapping the fans.
Other reports state that Tima will be used in the opening ceremony for the 2018 World Cup in Russia this summer.
It is truly unbelievable that this actually happened.