Croatian footballer hits a chicken in the middle of a match: he risks a year in jail


A Croatian animal welfare association announced on Wednesday that it intends to file a complaint against a local footballer accused of kicking a chicken in a semi-professional match.

The incident occurred on Sunday when chickens broke into a football field in eastern Croatia. Ivan Gazdek of host NK Jelengrad ran behind the birds, kicking one of them before throwing it over the fence in a cloud of feathers. The 23-year-old received a red card for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"Chickens are constantly entering the field"

The NGO Friends of Animals has denounced "the shameful act and cowardly behavior of the player towards an innocent animal who died broken bones, in pain". The association announced that it would file a complaint for "criminal act", the fact of "kill or torture an animal".

If charged and found guilty, the person incurs up to one year in prison. Gazdek defended himself in the Croatian press arguing that he was a friend of the animals, that he had several pets and that he had "not meant" to kill the chicken. "I ran behind the chickens to drive them off the field, I swung my foot and I accidentally killed one." The "chickens constantly enter the field and interrupt the game.The field is filled with excrement, it is not hygienic"he told the 24sata newspaper.

Last month in France, a young man, a top Basque pelota player, was sentenced to 80 hours of community service after being filmed tearing the head of a live rooster with his teeth a meal watered.

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