A Croatian footballer kicked and killed a rogue chicken during a semi-professional match in eastern Croatia and that had landed the footballer, Ivan Gazdek of home team NK Jelengrad, in trouble.

After the video went viral, a Croatian animal rights group said on Wednesday that they will file charges against the footballer for his ‘shameful act and cowardly behaviour’.

The NGO Animal Friends condemned the ‘behaviour of the player against an innocent animal who died with crushed bones and in pain’.

The 23-year-old footballer was red-carded for the act. He ran after a flock of chicken kicking one and then chucked it it over the fence in a flurry of feathers.

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The NGO stated that they would file charges against Gazdek for the ‘criminal act of animal killing or torture’. If charged and found guilty, he could face up to one year in prison.

However, Gazdek claimed that he is an animal lover and the killing was not intentional.

“I ran towards the chicken to chase them away, swung my foot and accidentally killed one,” he was quoted saying by AFP

“Chickens are constantly entering the pitch interrupting the match. The pitch is full of feces, there are unhygienic condition,” he further added.