Russia’s goalkeeper was ‘blinded’ by lasers for the decisive goal scored by Algeria which sent his team out of the World Cup, coach Fabio Capello said on Thursday.
Russia and Algeria drew 1-1 in their final Group H game with the African side advancing at the expense of Capello’s team.
Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev failed to reach a cross which was headed home by Islam Slimani in the 60th minute to earn Algeria a point.
Television images showed what appeared to be green laser beams flashing across the keeper’s body as he tried to reach the cross.
“Our goalkeeper was affected by a laser 10 seconds before the goal. He was blinded by a laser, there are photos, films of it,” Capello said.
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“I’m not looking for excuses. I accept defeats,” added the Italian.
Akinfeev made a blunder in the opening Group H game against South Korea, letting in a shot from Lee Keun-ho to allow the Asian side take the lead in the 1-1 draw.
Use of lasers by fans is an increasingly common problem in North African football.
Last year, the second leg of the African Champions League final in Cairo between Egypt’s Al-Ahly and South Africa’s Orlando Pirates was badly affected by green lasers beamed into players faces.