Russia is infamous for not caring about the lives of its enemies. They will reach across borders and travel across seas in order to permanently eliminate its critics. So, what could so anger a group of Nigerians that they would risk that wrath while on Russian soil?
Chickens, of course.
Live chickens are sometimes seen at soccer matches in Nigeria where fans paint them in the green and white colours of their national flag before holding them aloft and leading crowd chanting.
But officials in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, where Nigeria will take on Croatia on Saturday in their first outing at the World Cup, have said animals will not be allowed in the stadium.
Nigerian fans were hoping that Russia would be more understanding than South Africa. In 2010, the Nigerians were stopped as they tried to enter the Johannesberg stadium with a dyed chicken with its claws bound in tape. The hopes for a better outcome in 2018 were not rewarded.
Still, Russia has displayed an unusual soft side. They will not allow the chickens into the stadium, but they are making some allowances for poultry outside of the stadium walls.
From Sports Illustrated:
Although fans won’t be able to bring their chickens into the stadium, the agency did announce that surrounding areas will be friendly to fowl. Super Eagles fans can check in with Russian officials to determine areas where chickens are allowed before and after the game.
Fans of soccer, fans of sport, and fans of Nigeria around the world are undoubtedly pleased by this development. And one famous internet gamer seems to agree, based on his final statement in his legendary video. Leeroy?
Question of the night: what lucky object or ritual do you use, even if you don’t really believe in them?