Fans ran onto the field during the France-Croatia World Cup final, and two of the four fans made an appearance on the TV broadcast. Both fans were fully clothed, and appeared to be wearing police uniforms. It took the security team several seconds to catch the fans, and the incident occurred at the 52′ mark.
According to The Mirror, the Russian protest music group Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for the pitch invasion. The group was attempting to honor Russian poet Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov, and speak about the current state of law enforcement. Here’s part of the statement released by the group on Facebook (translated).
LIGHTNING! Right now – the four members of Pussy Riot in the finals of the World Cup: “The Miller comes into play” on the World Championship!
Pussy Riot in the finals of the World Championship – “The militiaman enters the Game”
Today, 11 years, the great Russian poet Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov died. Prigov created in Russian culture the image of the Militarist, the bearer of heavenly statehood…
Heavenly policeman, according to Prigov, talks on his radio with God himself. The militia officer fabricates criminal cases. While the celestial militiaman gently watches the fans at the World Championship, the ground policeman prepares to disperse rallies…
The World Championships recalled the possibility of a heavenly policeman in the beautiful future of Russia, but every day a landless policeman entering the game without rules destroys our world.
When an Earth policeman comes into play we demand:
1. To release all political prisoners.
2. Do not put for husky.
3. Stop illegal arrests at rallies.
4. Admit political competition in the country.
5. Do not fabricate criminal cases and do not keep people just in jail.
6. Turn an earthly policeman into a heavenly policeman.
What is Pussy Riot? It is a Russian punk rock group dedicated to raising awareness on social issues. According to The New York Times, one protest resulted in a member receiving two years of jail time. While the group mostly focuses on Russia, they have also been critical of United States president Donald Trump.
“What happens in one country makes huge influence on what’s going on in other countries,” Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova explained to The New York Times. “So, I didn’t want Donald Trump to be elected because it would obviously encourage authoritarian politicians around the world to be more authoritarian, and it did.”
After the statement was released, the group then retweeted a photo posted by the popular soccer podcast group Men in Blazers.
Typically, American television stations avoid showing the fans on the field as a way not to provide incentives for others do it in the future. This time, Fox stayed on the fans for a few seconds before they turned the attention back to the players. In soccer, this act is commonly referred to as a pitch invasion. Here’s how Cambridge describes a pitch invasion.
An occasion when a large number of people at a sporting event such as a football game run onto the pitch, usually at the end of the game, in order to celebrate or protest.
Play resumed after about a minute as the security team escorted the fans off the field. Croatia could have used a longer break as France dominated Croatia from the start of the second half. Here’s some additional angles of the fans running onto the field.
France would go on to win their second World Cup, and the first since 1998. It was a well deserved win for a team that looked like the most consistent squad in the tournament. Many are calling the 2018 World Cup the best in tournament history with all the fantastic finishes, penalty kicks and great play by some of the top stars in the world.
Here was Twitter’s reaction to the pitch invasion.