Russia's 1-1 World Cup tie Thursday with Algeria -- which sent the Russians home without making it to the knockout round -- was heartbreaking for fans.
But the team's manager, Fabio Capello, says the tie may have been more than just a letdown -- he claims it was the result of an action of an unknown fan who took the game into his own hands, literally.
Capello says the reason the Algerians were able to score their goal was because this unidentified fan or onlooker shined a green laser beam into the eyes of Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, impairing his ability to block the shot, according to the Guardian.
Such an action is actually considered a criminal act in many nations, especially when a green-beam pointer is shined into the eyes of a pilot. The concept that a player's vision may have been sufficiently hindered by a green laser to cause him to commit an error is not a far-fetched one.
And replays compiled by the Verge do indeed show what appears to be a green laser flitting around Akinfeev's face just before the free kick that resulted in the Algeria goal. Akinfeev goes to slap away the ball just moments after visibly appearing to call for the referees to do something about the laser.
Capello approached the referees about the incident, to no avail, and the Russians had to head home.