Furry pitch invader causes havoc at Swiss soccer match

FC Zurich goalkeeper Davide Da Costa catches a marten that ran onto the pitch during the Swiss...

FC Zurich goalkeeper Davide Da Costa catches a marten that ran onto the pitch during the Swiss Super League match against FC Thun Sunday, March 10, 2013. (REUTERS/Pascal Lauener)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:38 PM ET

Pitch invasions are relatively common in European soccer but this one took it to a different level.

During a Swiss Super League match between Zurich and Thun, a marten — a low-slung animal similar to a mink — stopped play a number of times when it ran onto the pitch at least three times before being escorted from the stadium.

In the aftermath, Zurich defender Loris Benito needed medical attention after being bit on the finger by the furry invader.

The marten escaped once after being trapped by a net then eluded captors again after being tackled by Benito, who was bitten before passing off the creature.

After the marten ran onto the field a third time, Zurich goalkeeper Davide Da Costa brought the incident to an end when he grabbed the animal — the marten couldn’t bite through his gloves — and carried it off, where security personnel removed it for good and the game continued without interruption.

“In hindsight, it was obviously foolish of me (to try and catch it),” Benito said to Teleclub, via Yahoo! Sports. “Who knows what diseases the animal had. But I wanted to play the match and now I simply trust my immune system.”

Zurich wound up beating Thun 4-0.


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