The Euro Cup qualifying game versus Montenegro could so easily have been the last game of the career of the Russian shot stopper Igor Akinfeev, but, only because he had had the well wishes of so many people with him that he managed to get away with the minimal damage.
A flame coming from the direction of the spectators hit Akinfeev and he was down straightaway.
The team doctors came in and tried to get Akinfeev sorted there on the pitch itself, but, the burn was too intense to keep the player going and after about 30 minutes or so, finally the stretcher came in and he had to go the hospital for some expert medical guidance.
The proceedings could not get underway in that duration.
After Akinfeev’s departure though, the match resumed, but, could not reach its conclusion because of the misbehaving nature of the spectators.
There were objects being thrown to the pitch and thus, to protect the players from suffering any damage, the referee made the decision of abandoning the match in the 67th minute.
Neither of the teams had been able to score a goal till that time and thus, it was declared a draw with both getting a point each.
Later in the evening, the good news came from the hospital with doctors discharging Akinfeev saying he was out of danger.
Akinfeev will have to remain out for a little while though because of the burn and also, a bit of concussion.
A statement was released from Akinfeev’s side as well for his fans and well wishers.
That read, “Thanks everyone for showing the support. I am really, really grateful. It’s all good with me now. Hopefully, I don’t have to cope with anything like this in future.”