As Biblical plagues go, a horde of locusts isn’t quite in the same league as, say, rivers running red with blood or three-day darkness, but the locusts could pose quite a problem for this summer’s World Cup matches in Russia.
According to officials with the nation’s agriculture ministry, and reported by the Associated Press, locusts feed on crops in southern Russia, and might well decide to munch on some of the verdant green pitches that will dot the country.
“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,” Pyotr Chekmaryov said. “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?”
Chekmaryov noted that the Volgograd region, which will host several matches, is at particular risk. He stressed that Russia needs to prepare so that the country does not “disgrace ourselves in front of global society, especially where we will have guests from all over the world.”
The World Cup begins on June 14 and concludes a month later on July 14.