Will Russia Locust Plague Ruin World Cup 2018 Stadiums, Games?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup might become a biblical event.

An employee in Russia’s agriculture ministry warned Wednesday a plague of locusts might destroy grass fields at World Cup stadiums in the host nation. Locusts often eat crops in Southern Russia during warmer months and they might descend on Volgograd Arena for their summer meals.

“We have more or less learned how to deal with locusts, but this year I’m afraid we could end up in an international locust scandal,” Russia state news agencies reported Pyotr Chekmaryov as saying, according to The Associated Press. “Soccer fields are green. Locusts like places where there is a lot of green. What if they fly to the places where football is played?”

The Volgograd Arena, Rostov Arena and Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, are the southernmost of the 12 World Cup venues and most likely to host locusts during the tournament.

Despite the agriculture ministry’s concerns, the head of Russia’s World cup organizing committee laughed off the locust threat.

“… locusts present no danger to soccer fields (as) the grass on soccer fields is very short and it’s sprayed with certain substances,” Alexei Sorokin said Thursday, according to The AP. “We try to look at this with humor, can’t say anything else. It’s not a threat.”

So whom should soccer fans, especially traveling ones, trust on the locust subject: the proverbial farmer or the businessman?

Thumbnail photo via YouTube/Over Vines

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