Bear forced to perform at football match in 'cruel' act
Tima was forced to clap to the audience and pass the football to the referee prior to the game.
Animal rights groups have condemned footage showing a bear performing before a Russian football match.
The bear, named Tima, was forced to apparently clap to the audience and pass the football to the referee prior to the game.
It happened before a third-tier match Saturday in the city of Pyatigorsk.
Footage from the game showed the animal being led to the Mashuk-KMV Pyatigorsk club's stadium.
The stadium's announcer reportedly claimed that the bear will take part in the World Cup's opening ceremony in Moscow in June, but FIFA has denied the claim.
The football club's manager said it was borrowed from a circus.
The New York-based World Animal Protection group condemned the stunt saying that it is clear from the footage that "cruel training methods have been used" on the bear.