Soccer Team: We Won't Stop Sacrificing Sheep

Kazakh squad catches flak for ritual

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 27, 2013 2:07 PM CDT
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(Newser) – One of the strangest things ever uttered before a soccer match: "We are currently seeking assurance from Celtic Park that no sheep will be allowed on the premises ahead of the match." That's courtesy of the Scotland SPCA, worried that a visiting team from Kazakhstan will follow through on its pledge to slaughter a sheep before a Champions League playoff game tomorrow, reports STV News. It seems the team, Shakhter Karagandy, did so in a ceremony before its last game back home, and the coach says it's no big deal.

"All I can say is that every team and every club has its own pre-match traditions and rituals," explained Viktor Kumykov in a news conference that could have been a scene from Borat. PETA is enraged, and the Scotland SPCA says it would be a criminal offense, reports the BBC. But the coach sounds undeterred. "As far as we know, in Scotland the agriculture is very developed, so it shouldn't be an issue to find a sheep."

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