You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Putin extols 'hockey diplomacy', falls on ice

AFP  |  Moscow 

praised "diplomacy" as he scored nine goals in a game with his allies and Russian stars but fell on his face after the match.

"It brings people closer," Putin told reporters during the match, in footage broadcast on television Sunday evening.

"This always helps." Wearing his traditional No. 11 jersey, the Russian on Friday took to the ice for an exhibition game at the in the resort of Sochi.

The sports-mad 66-year-old leader, who has done a lot to promote a healthy lifestyle in Russia, said was outside of politics and helped foster ties between statesmen.

In the past, the took to the ice with Finnish and often plays with Belarusian hockey-crazed strongman

Putin said he could not even stand on ice several years ago and learned to skate by clutching a

Skating alongside and Russian hockey stars such as and Slava Fetisov, Putin scored nine goals, leading his team to a 14-7 win in the gala match of the Night Hockey League, the Kremlin said.

The opposing side was made up of prominent amateurs including Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire Putin associate who is under US sanctions.

After the match Putin took a victory lap to greet the cheering crowd but fell on his face after apparently tripping over a red carpet on the ice rink.

Two of his teammates rushed to help the but Putin quickly stood up without assistance.

The Kremlin made no mention of Putin's fall but video footage showing the mishap went viral on and unleashed a frenzy.

"It was not a fall. It was a negative ascent," quipped one user, making fun of Kremlin's whitewashing attempts.

"The hockey gates that captured the president's goals have been nominated for the post of governor," tweeted prominent anti-Kremlin blogger StalinGulag.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 15:51 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU