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Performing bear at Russian soccer match causes outrage

A circus bear used to open a soccer match in Russia's town of Pyatigorsk on Saturday caused outrage from animal welfare groups.

The bear, named 'Tima', performed gestures and handed the match ball to the referee before the third-tier match between FC Mashuk-KMV and FC Angusht.

FC Angusht, who had initially shared the video, said that the bear was to be used in the World Cup opening ceremony, a claim which FIFA denied according to the BBC.

FIFA World Cup will begin in Russia on June 14.

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