A Portuguese judo fighter was disqualified after the mobile phone he accidentally left in his pocket fell to the floor as he grappled with an opponent.
Anri Egutidze was filmed fighting Swedish rival Robin Packs – who appeared to do a double take before picking up the smartphone and turning towards the referee with the device in his hand.
Egutidze put his hand on his heart by way of apology before walking to the sidelines following his self-inflicted red card.
The bizarre incident happened just 13 seconds into the fight in the Baku Grand Slam, a three-day competition involving 467 judoka (judo experts) from 52 countries in Azerbaijan’s capital.
Egutidze, who is of Georgian origin but competes for Portugal, admitted afterwards: ‘I was listening to music in the changing rooms and took my watch off but forgot to remove my mobile.’
Local reports said he had even offered to repay his federation for his travel costs to Azerbaijan, but the offer had been turned down – and that he had returned the favour by promising to win a medal at the European Games in Minsk next month to make up for his mistake.
Three months ago, Chinese snowboarder Cai Xuetong discovered she had left her mobile phone in her pocket when the screen broke following a fall at a top competition.
Egutidze’s gaffe led some fans to joke he deserved the ‘Orange belt.’
The International Judo Federation was among those who posted footage online of the moment his mobile fell on the floor.
One social media commenter, responding to a question from another about why he had been carrying a smartphone, said: ‘Maybe he wanted to share his heart rate and calorie consumption through Google Health or Strava.’
Aquiles Pinto replied: ‘The phone was brand new, give the guy a break.’