Spain sacking their manager days before the tournament? Russia, officially the worst team at the World Cup, winning their opening game FIVE-nil? Both of these are pretty mad, but neither comes close to being the weirdest thing to happen during this summer’s festival of football so far.
That is because a video has emerged of a bear riding in the back of a jeep, blowing on a vuvuzela, before jabbing at his left bicep while aggressively raising his fist.
And before you ask, no, the video is NOT fake. This genuinely happened this week in Moscow.
Just been sent this, appears to be a bear in a jeep, blowing a vuvuzela (?) and then giving a quenelle salute. And told it’s happening somewhere in Moscow. pic.twitter.com/Tg0Hj0taSo
— Peter Staunton (@petermstaunton) June 14, 2018
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The outrageous footage was posted to Twitter by Peter Staunton, who suggested that the bear’s arm movement was the controversial quenelle gesture – an inverted Nazi salute and widely regarded as an expression of antisemitism.
Bears by nature are not known to be antisemitic and the animal was clearly just repeating a trick it had been taught.
And whether or not the gesture was indeed a quenelle salute, the scene does stink of animal cruelty.
But it is still very difficult not to be mesmerised by what is truly an astonishing video.
Judging by the timing of the Twitter post and the flags seen on screen, the footage appears to have been shot on Thursday, when Russia beat Saudi Arabia in the tournament’s opening game.
It seems that the bear was ahead of the curve when it came to its use of the vuvuzela because the musical instrument – which shot to global infamy at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – came back with a bang on Friday during Iran’s 1-0 win over Morocco.