A Russian ice hockey player Saveli Kononov, was given a brand new AK-47 rifle as man of the match prize following his team’s victory over Chelmet in the second-tier VHL.
The Izhstal Izhevsk goalkeeper stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced during the match and photos shared online revealed he was happy with the gift which was handed over to him in the dressing room.
“Lads, today we too are introducing a tradition,” head coach Ramil Saifullin told his team whose home is a city known for producing one of the world’s most recognisable rifles.
“As we live in an arms manufacturing city, the city of the Kalashnikov, every match you will for yourselves name the best player, and the previous [recipient] will hand it over to him,” he said inviting the captain to name the first recipient.
“Can we fire it?” the captain joked, before awarding it to the goalkeeper Savely Kononov to applause from team-mates.
“Congratulations on the win, but if we play poorly we will be shot with it,” Kononov said to more applause and laughter from players.
“How do we take it to away matches?” one asked.
“We will figure it out. We will carry a wooden model,” the coach replied.