It's called "the beautiful game" - but sometimes soccer can get downright ugly.
A shocking video shows an elderly referee apparently wielding a stun gun to keep unruly players at bay - but getting knocked out anyway.
Nikolai Moshchev, 65, ended up unconscious after he was kicked in the head and then pushed by players during the game in Russia. He was rushed to hospital after being left with memory loss, nausea, and dizziness.
The brutal moment was caught on camera by a bystander. The video, which was uploaded to YouTube, has been viewed more than 30,000 times.
Moshchev had carried a reportedly stun gun onto the pitch to ward off players during the second half of a match between two rival clubs – Porkhov and Gdov.
According to The Guardian, Gdov players accused the ref of being biased. He was a local from Porkhov even though the matches were supposed to be administered by neutral officials.
A Gdov supporter told a local Russian TV station: “Then from the whistle, the away side were complaining against everything they thought was dubious, they kept shouting and they didn’t stop."
Moshchev returned to the game after halftime with a stun gun. Witnesses say he did not use the gun.
Near the end of the game, the ref made a controversial call in favor of the Porkhov side which resulted in a clash between the clans.
Moshchev was kicked in the faced and pushed from behind in a shocking moment caught on camera. Witnesses say he laid on the ground for 10 minutes before an ambulance arrived.
Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup.
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