A Russian Orthodox priest has found a novel way of overcoming his nation's pain at their early exit from the World Cup.
Alexander Shumsky has denounced the tournament as a 'homosexual abomination', because players' brightly coloured boots lined up bear a resemblance to the 'gay rainbow'.
'Wearing pink or blue shoes, [the players] might as well wear women's panties or a bra,' wrote Father Shumsky.
The Moscow Times reports that Father Shumsky was also cross with the 'unthinkable' hairstyles worn by some of the players in Brazil.
For Father Shumsky, Russia's awful showing and early exit was a welcome respite from the garish festival of football, which he sees as a challenge to the piety of Russians.
'The liberal ideology of globalism clearly wants to oppose Christianity with football. I'm sure of it,' he wrote.
'Therefore I am glad that the Russian players have failed and, by the grace of God, no longer participate in this homosexual abomination.'
Despite the priest's pronouncements, it seems that many in Russia are not so pleased that their boys have returned home from Brazil so early.