A soccer grenade in Iran nearly blew off the hand — or possibly killed — a player who mistook the explosive for an ordinary piece of debris that had blown onto the field.
The soccer grenade incident took place at the Asian Champions League quarterfinal match between Iranian club Sepahan FC and Al-Ahli SC of Saudi Arabia at Shahr Stadium in Iran.
As his teammate was arguing with officials near a corner flag, Sepahan midfielder Adel Kolahkaj picked up the round object and casually walked it over to the sideline, The Huffington Post reported. He then tossed it to a barrier that marked the outer edge of the field.
Just as the soccer grenade fell, it exploded, sending shock waves through a group of assembled players nearby.
The soccer grenade Iran incident was a disturbing reminder of some of the violence that has beset soccer matches across the world. Earlier this year, 73 people were killed after a match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry.
After the unexpected 3-1 victory over al-Ahly, Egypt’s top-ranked team, Masry fans stormed the field and began attacking Ahly fans and players with stones, fireworks, and bottles while the stadium burned on live television. The incident was later discovered to be a coordinated attack in the sectarian violence that has plagued the country.
There was some disagreement as to the nature of the explosive device, with some comments calling it a grenade while others referred to it as a bomb or firecracker. Either way, it certainly had the power to maim or kill Adel Kolahkaj had he been a split-second later in throwing it.
Here is video of the soccer grenade Iran incident: