Who Exactly Was That Group Who Invaded The World Cup?
One of them even shared a high-five with a player.
The World Cup final was brought to a brief halt in Moscow on Sunday when a group of people ran onto the field dressed in police uniforms.
Russian punk performance group Pussy Riot has since claimed responsibility, saying the field invasion at Luzhniki Stadium aimed to bring attention to political injustices.
“Hello everyone from the Luzhniki field, it’s great here,” the group tweeted.
In the 52nd minute, four people -- three women and a man -- charged onto the field, with security quickly jumping in to tackle them to the ground. But that was not before one of the women reached the centre of the field, sharing a double high-five with French forward Kylian Mbappe.
Croatian defender Defan Lovren pushed the man and helped to detain him, suggesting the invasion put his team off its game.
“I really was mad because we’d been playing at that moment in good shape,” he said.
“We’d been playing good football and then some interruption came. I just lost my head and I grabbed the guy and I wished I could throw him away from the stadium.”
Pussy Riot made a name for itself with a protest inside Moscow’s biggest cathedral in 2012, where several female members in balaclavas sang a song denouncing the Russian president. Two of them served almost two years in jail.
The group released a statement on Twitter, calling for the freeing of political prisoners, an end to “illegal arrests” of protestors and to “allow political competition” in Russia.
The statement also referenced the case of Oleg Sentsov, an opponent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine in 2014. He was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit terror acts, but denies the charges and has been on a hunger strike since May.
“The World Cup has shown very well how well Russian policemen can behave,” one woman said in a video later posted on social media.
“The citizens in question were taken to the local police station,” the Moscow branch of the Russian Interior Ministry said.
The four have reportedly been charged with violation of spectators’ rights and illegal wearing of law enforcement symbols, and could face a penalty of up to A$247 or 160 hours of community service, according to the Interfax News Agency.