Posted on June 15, 2018

Nigeria Soccer Fans Are Banned from Taking Their Lucky Chickens into World Cup Matches

Alan Dawson, Business Insider, June 15, 2018

A Russian politician has told Nigeria soccer fans they cannot take live chickens to 2018 FIFA World Cup matches.

The chickens are seen as lucky mascots but the government has slapped a ban on taking them into games ahead of Nigeria’s opening World Cup match against Croatia on Saturday.

Andrei Ermak, minister of culture in Kaliningrad, told Russia’s Interfax news agency that “fans from Nigeria asked if it’s possible to go to the stadium with a chicken, it’s their symbol, [and they take] them to matches. We told them it is impossible.”

Nigeria supporters may be allowed to take their chickens to areas away from the Kaliningrad Stadium, providing they do not try to take them into the ground.

“We will, of course, advise them where the chicken can be [taken],” Ermak said. “We are ready to satisfy the most eccentric inquiries.”

After the Croatia game on Saturday, matches against Iceland (June 22) and Argentina (June 26) await the Nigeria team.