Social media users were left fuming after organizers of the World Junior Hockey Championship in Canada failed to include the Russian flag in a closing message to fans and hosts at the tournament.
The championship ended in Canada on Saturday, when Russia picked up bronze by beating Switzerland before Finland defeated the US in a thrilling gold medal game.
The official World Juniors social media account sent out a message to fans and locals in the host cities of Vancouver and Victoria, thanking them for making the tournament “one for the history books.”
The 20-second clip featured the word “represent” translated into the languages of the 10 participating countries, as the flags of the competing nations drifted past.
All excpet one, that is. The only flag missing? The Russian one.
The absence of the Russian tricolor caused anger from social media users who replied to the Twitter post.
“Next time Canada flag should be missed, I guess,” wrote one user.
Next time Canada flag should be missed, I guess.
— New Abnormality (@NAbnormality) January 6, 2019
Others writing in Russian also vented their anger at the oversight.
“More disrespect to Russia. Sport outside of politics!” wrote one person.
Очередное неуважение к русским. Спорт вне политики!!!!
— A.V. (@netspanky) January 6, 2019
“Where is Team Russia?” inquired another user.
Its unclear what the absence was due to – although one netizen was sure it was a deliberate act of “dirty tricks” towards Russia, while another branded the mistake "pathetic."
The organizers of the #WorldJuniors did the dirty trick of Russia, “forgetting” its flag and fans. When you can't win in fair sports, you turn on the dirty tricks. This is called "sport outside politics". You are mean people! Go to Ban!
— Rabic (@Rabic72) January 6, 2019
And you've done it again too. Just pathetic.
— Alexander Kuznetsov (@AK_Flash) January 6, 2019
Others cheekily pointed out that organizers had forgotten to include the flag of the nation that had beaten Canada during the group stage.
Hey guys, remember that one country that had a win on Canada in group stage?
— Сиреневый Туман (@SirTmn) January 6, 2019
Some Twitter users simply added emojis of the flag that was forgotten – in one case, lots of them…
— Саша v (@vdx99g8bWisdI0A) January 6, 2019
While the Russian team ended on a high by beating Switzerland 5-2 in the bronze medal game, the team endured some booing from the Canadian crowd.
Much of it was directed toward captain Klim Kostin, who had let his emotions get the better of him following the defeat to the US in the semi-finals.
Kostin had expressed his anger at some of the officiating during the game by tossing his helmet aside during the post-game presentation before appearing to mouth “f*** you” in response to boos from the crowd.
He later apologized, but again motioned toward the crowd after scoring against the Swiss in the bronze medal game, plugging his ears with his gloves.
"The crowd was booing the Russian team and me personally," he said after the game. "When I scored, it was automatic. I did it automatically, but I didn't want to offend anyone."
As for the missing flag, that remains a mystery.