You expect to see a lot of things at a football match: fans singing cheeky chants, managers arguing with the third official and even the odd pitch invader. However, those running on to the field of play are usually in human form. Not in this case, when a lively pup decided it was play time.
At the recent Federal Tournament A fixture between Argentinian clubs Central Cordoba and Sportivo Las Parejas, an unlikely visitor ran on to the pitch to lend a helping hand. The Labrador-style dog chased the ball which was being passed by Central Cordoba, then managed to take out midfielder Marcos Sanchez. After unsuccessfully trying to get hold of the ball, the dog bounded into the back of Sanchez, who was knocked to the ground.
Happy with finally being able to catch the ball, the dog stayed close to Sanchez, who then attempted to carry it off the pitch. Play soon got back under way after a steward took the dog, although the wriggly mutt didn’t go easily.
Back for More
However, it didn’t end there. In the final minutes, the cheeky canine returned to the pitch and playfully rolled over next to the Sportivo Las Parejas goalkeeper, urging him to rub its belly. Once again, the dog was sent to the stands, where, this time, it remained until the end of the game.
Not the First, Definitely Not the Last
It’s not the first time that our animal friends have decided to join in on the pitch. Squirrels, flying ants, chickens, foxes and even a monkey have all interrupted sporting events for a piece of the limelight. A cat casually strolled around the Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur match at Anfield and became one of the more popular animal invaders due to its nonchalant appearance.
With so many animals wandering on to the pitch, it’s a wonder that soccer drill videos, such as those at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Soccer/drills.jsp, don’t include tips on how to remove the animal invaders. Let’s be thankful that they are usually the small, friendly variation that seem to enjoy their five minutes and then happily be carried off to be released.
Although it’s not expected in any fixture, animal intrusions are part and parcel of the sporting world and ones that we certainly wouldn’t change.