Mohamed Salah was peppered with laser pointers when he lined up to take a penalty for Egypt in their World Cup qualifying match with Senegal this week.
The Pharaohs were a penalty shootout away from booking themselves a flight to Qatar after their two-legged clash with the African champions finished 1-1 courtesy of a Saliou Ciss own goal and Boulaye Dia’s strike.
And considering that the very same nations had gone toe-to-toe from 12 yards just a few months ago in the Africa Cup of Nations final, you could rest assured that the pressure was turned up to 11.
Salah subjected to laser pointers
In fact, that couldn’t have been clearer than in the way that the shootout started with Salah’s skied effort looking like par for the course when you consider that the first four attempts were all missed.
However, Salah’s misfire was particularly notable not just because of his name status, but also due to the fact that several laser pointers were aimed directly at his face before he took the spot-kick.
Only the Liverpool star himself will know how much of a role the lasers played in his subsequent miss, but there’s no denying that the episode caused a stir with Egypt proceeding to be knocked out.
And it’s not the first time that laser pointers have taken centre stage in football matches with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney having also been subject with the same treatment before penalties.
Ten Hag to Man Utd done? (Football Terrace)
Messi targeted with laser pointer at Barcelona
During the 2011 Copa del Rey final, Messi’s face can be seen lit up by a green laser as he chats to Xavi and Dani Alves about how he’s going to take a set piece against Real Madrid.
Yes, the quantity of laser pens doesn’t even begin to compare to that faced by Salah, but the disgusting use of them against a player was still enough to provoke a furious reaction from Ray Hudson.
Ray Hudson comes out swinging
The ever-entertaining broadcaster who makes no secret of his love for Messi pulled exactly zero punches in his condemnation of the ‘moronic idiots’ who tried to distract the Barcelona star mid-game.
In a passionate criticism of what is undoubtedly a sorry sight on a football pitch, Hudson produced some of the most full-on commentary we’ve heard in a long time – and you can check it out down below:
It’s not everyday that you hear comments like that.
The dangers of laser pointers
You knew from the moment that Hudson said it makes ‘you want to get them and just string them up by their thumbs’ and quipped that anyone sat next to the offender should ‘smack ’em’ that he wasn’t happy.
And regardless of whether or not you think Hudson went a little bit too far with his choice of words in the gantry, there is no denying that the use of laser pens at football matches must be nipped in the bud.
With suggestions that laser pointers can cause significant eye damage in certain situations, as well as generally disadvantaging players, it’s clear that more needs to be done to cut out their usage.
‘Nabbing ’em’ off the fans at the turnstiles is a better idea than ‘smacking ’em’, mind.