World Cup final 2018 pitch invasion: Pussy Riot claim responsibility as referee forced to suspend play

The invasion happened as Russian president Vladimir Putin watched on from the stands

Jack Austin
Sunday 15 July 2018 08:22
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Pitch invaders interrupt play in World Cup final clash between France and Croatia

Russian activists Pussy Riot have claimed responsibility as play during the World Cup final between France and Croatia was briefly suspended at the Luzhniki Stadium after a number of fans invaded the pitch.

France were 2-1 up and Kylian Mbappe had just had his shot well saved and as Croatia tried to break at the other end, four protesters ran onto the pitch chased by stewards, leading to referee Nestor Pitana calling a halt to play while the invaders were removed, with Russian president Vladimir Putin in attendance.

The four were dressed in black trousers with white shirts and black ties and emerged from behind France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’ goal.

Dejan Lovren attempted to drag on off the pitch himself before the stewards dealt with them and dragged them off the pitch themselves.

Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for the invasion on their Facebook page with a lengthy statement.

They said: “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’

Stewards apprehend a pitch invader as Croatia's Dejan Lovren reacts

“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. Heavenly policeman affectionately touches the flower in the field and rejoices in the victories of the Russian team, and the earthly policeman is indifferent to the hunger strike of Oleg Sentsov. Heavenly policeman - rises as an example of statehood, an earthly policeman - makes everyone hurt.

“Heavenly policeman protects the baby's sleep, while the policeman on the ground persecutes political prisoners, planting them for reposts and huskies.

“Heavenly policeman is the organiser of the wonderful carnival of the World Championship, an earthly policeman is afraid of a holiday. Heavenly policeman carefully monitors the observance of the rules of the game, an Earth policeman enters the game, regardless of the rules.

Stewards apprehend a pitch invader

“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.

"Let all political prisoners free.

"1. Free Oleg Sentsov.

"2. Not imprison for “likes”.

"3. Stop Illegal arrests on rallies.

"4. Allow political competition in the country.

A pitch invader and France's Kylian Mbappe high five

"5. Do not fabricate criminal cases and do not keep people just in jail.

"6. Turn an earthly policeman into a heavenly policeman.”

The incident occurred just 10 minutes into the second half with France 2-1 ahead but under severe pressure as Croatia searched for their second equaliser of the final.

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