Both teams were lined up and ready to go at the Central'nyj Stadion Mashuk on Saturday, but the 22 players and match officials had to wait for a special guest first.
A bear - which goes by the name of 'Tim' - was guided onto the pitch's surrounding running track before handing the match ball to a presumably-petrified referee.
The stadium announcer joked that Tim will open matches at the 2018 World Cup – just imagine the heart attacks at FIFA HQ – before the furry assistant attempted to warm up the crowd with a few claps.
1:00 for Tim
Hosts Mashuk-KMV weren't inspired, however, and fell to a heavy defeat. Sorry, Tim.
- Watch: Schalke's Naldo shows disgusting cruelty to goal nets with piledriver against Borussia Dortmund
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