The U.S.-Belgium pitch invader pretended to be handicapped to gain access to the field

Kevin Kaduk
Dirty Tackle
Mario Ferri rises from a wheelchair before running on the pitch.
Mario Ferri rises from a wheelchair before running on the pitch.

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So how did experienced World Cup pitch invader Mario Ferri get close enough to jump on the field and disrupt Tuesday's match between the United States and Belgium?

[Photos: More World Cup pitch invaders]

It turns out that the 27-year-old Italian man used a tried-and-true tactic. He pretended to be handicapped before leaping from his wheelchair and grabbing the attention of the world for a minute or so. Ferri did the same thing when he interrupted Spain-Germany at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Here's the full video of Tuesday's trot:

That Ferri was able to pull this off is a little bit humorous given that the 2014 World Cup has had a few problems with some wheelchair users allegedly faking a need for designated seating in order to gain access to the matches. Police even opened an investigation earlier in the tournament after pictures of wheelchair users rising to their feet and cheering goals hit the Internet. 

Ferri, who was also wearing a bandage on his right knee, turned his deception into an opportunity to raise awareness for the conditions of Brazil's favelas and an Italian fan who died from a gunshot wound last month. Not sure if that makes his trickery any more acceptable, but one thing's for certain: Brazilian stadium officials will likely be keeping a closer eye on who wheels into their matches the rest of the World Cup.

 Meanwhile, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann still doesn't approve:


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Kevin Kaduk is a writer for Yahoo Sports.. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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