On 28 July, two amateur football teams, the Amur Tigers and the Far Eastern Leopards, played a friendly match at FC Strogino’s stadium. Chair of the Supervisory Board at the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov attended the match.
The Amur Tigers team included representatives of the Russian Government, while the Far Eastern Leopards team was formed by members of the Presidential Executive Office and regional governments. The teams also included members of the State Duma, Rossiya Airlines, officials from the Russian Football Union and former Russian football stars.
Sergei Ivanov talks to players before the match
“I am grateful to all the participants in today’s match for finding time to play ball and support the cause of saving wild cats, the Amur tigers and the Far Eastern leopards,” Sergei Ivanov said during the opening ceremony that preceded the match.
The Amur Tigers dominated the field in the first minutes of the first half, and scored three goals. However, the Far Eastern Leopards soon adjusted their tactics, and scored several goals as well, so that the first half ended with a 3-3 draw.
During the match
In the second half, both teams tried to win the Big Cats of Russia Cup, but the match ended in a 6-6 draw. The Amur Tigers finally emerged as the winner after a series of penalty shots.
Big Cats of Russia Cup
Hollywood Dance Club offered halftime entertainment for match participants and spectators.
The match was organised by the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation and supported by the Amur Tiger Centre. Rossiya Airlines also helped organise the event. In fact, the airline operates two planes with images of rare cats: the leo-craft that was put into operation in March 2017, and the tiger-craft with its striped-pattern design that has been in operation since September 2016.