Nigeria Fans 'Banned From Taking Live Chickens To First World Cup Match'
Remember when, eight long years ago, the entire world discovered what a vuvuzela was during the 2010 World Cup? Not only did the instrument - if we can call it that - give people everywhere a new idea on how to really annoy your next door neighbours, but it irritated FIFA enough that the horns were banned at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Well, this year authorities have banned something a little bit different and entirely unexpected - chickens. Yes, chickens. Those weird looking birds that lay eggs and which we turn into nuggets have been banned from the opening game of Group D on Saturday.
Or rather, Nigeria fans have been banned from bring 'lucky' live chickens into the stadium grounds for their country's game against Croatia.
Some fans of the Super Eagles - as the team is known - believe that taking chickens to games brings their players good luck.
Andrei Ermak, Russia's minister of culture in Kaliningrad, told Russia's Interfax news agency of their decision.
"Fans from Nigeria asked if it's possible to go to the stadium with a chicken," he said. "We told them that it is not possible."
That doesn't, however, mean they'll be banned from all of Nigeria's games - and Ermak announced that the ministry will advise Nigerian fans on the areas, games and stadiums they will be allowed to take chickens to.
Hopefully for their sake it'll be some of the earlier games, otherwise the team might not make it very far in the competition at all. Although at least if the team do get knocked out early they can blame it on the chickens - or the lack thereof.
It's not the first time Nigeria fans have been faced with a poultry ban. At the 2010 World Cup, they were banned from taking chickens painted in Nigeria's colours of green and white (although the white is usually just their feathers) to a game against Argentina. And guess what? Nigeria lost that game 1-0. So maybe there is something to be said for the presence of their feathered friends.
Still, if you've ever walked past a poultry slaughterhouse, you'll know how awful the stench of all those chickens in the same place is. And nobody wants that when they're watching football.
Featured Image Credit: PA