BERNE (Reuters) – A pine marten ran on to the pitch and bit a player who tried to catch it during the Swiss Super League match between FC Thun and FC Zurich on Sunday.
Baffled players stood and watched before Zurich defender Loris Benito gave chase and managed to rugby tackle the animal which bit him on the finger.
The pine marten slipped away but was eventually caught by goalkeeper David Da Costa who handed it to stewards.
"In hindsight, I was probably a little foolish," Benito told Swiss television at halftime. "You don’t know what sort of disease it might be carrying. It was painful."
Pine martens belong to the Mustelidae family which also includes the weasel, mink, badger and otter.
Former Italy midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, player coach of FC Sion, left himself on the bench and saw his team lose 1-0 at home to Lausanne Sport, their fourth defeat in five matches since the winter break.
They had Vullnet Basha sent off for a second bookable offence five minutes before halftime. Gattuso became Sion’s fourth coach of the season when he was appointed last month.
Grasshoppers beat St Gallen 3-1 on Saturday to stay top, two points of defending champions FC Basel who cruised past Young Boys 3-0.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Ed Osmond)
(Reporting by Brian Homewood)
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