By 90Min
October 17, 2017

A Panamanian grandmother has admitted to pretending to faint three times whilst pitch invading, in order to help her team qualify for their first ever World Cup finals.

Panama's final qualifying game was marred in controversy. Having equalised through a 'ghost goal' against Costa Rica (the ball didn't cross the line, but the goal was given anyway), a video then went viral of a Panama ball boy (who was actual a Panamanian substitute) booting a ball away from a Costa Rica play in a bid to waste some time.

And now, the controversy continues as a pitch invading granny admits to feigning a faint on three occasions as she attempted to run the clock down in the closing minutes of the game:

"Nothing happened to me, I only knew that police wanted to make me move away and I pretended to faint again.

"When the policeman asked me, what is going on? I answered 'You are going to the World Cup, sh*t, do not stop me here." Elida de Mitchell said, via The Sun.

RODRIGO ARANGUA/GettyImages

"I jumped onto the pitch in order to avoid Costa Rica scoring another goal. I was not going to let them do it."

Panama had been holding until added time before she made her way onto the pitch, but as the closing stages grew more and more nerve-racking, Elida decided to take matters into her own hands.

"I did not want to leave the pitch until the match ended.

"I decided to do that alone because the other time we did not go to the World Cup and I cried.

"This time I thought that I was not going to cry. And I did not cry." 


As a result, Panama have qualified for their first ever World Cup finals, and Elida de Mitchell will be packing her bags for Russia come summer.

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