Tiny bugs have caused chaos at the World Cup after a swarm of flying insects descended upon the England vs Tunisia match in Volvograd.
Players from either side were forced to lather themselves in bug repellent before taking to Volgograd Arena for Monday’s match.
Insects have plagued the city in southwestern Russia since the tournament kicked off last week following a hot summer climate on the Volga river, with temperatures on Monday topping 30°C.
In a post-match interview with The Guardian, England captain Harry Kane said there were many more bugs on and around the pitch than players had anticipated.
“We had a lot of bug spray on, before the game, and at half-time. I got some [flies] in the eye, nose and some in my mouth, he said.
Awesome picture of @trentaa98 yesterday during the #TUNENG game. It must be very annoying for everyone due to bugs but I want to congratulate him for making it on the @England NT. I hope to see him play soon during the #WorldCup & #YNWA pic.twitter.com/OxpwxCR6SJ
— Timothy Parish (@DeafAngelboy23) June 19, 2018
Kane played valiantly through the bug storm to slot two goals for his country. His header in the 91st minute sealed the match for England, winning 2-1.
Conditions were even worse for the crowd as security protocols prevented them from bringing any insect repellent into the Volgograd Arena.
According to reports, the bug swarm was comprised of mosquitoes and midges. Organisers should be thankful however the swarm did not include locusts too.
Back in February, Russia’s agriculture ministry’s crop farming department head Pyotr Chekmarev said a plague of locusts at this World Cup could cause a “global scandal”. His comments came after the host city Volvograd battled with a locusts last year.
“One way or another, we have learnt how to deal with locusts, but how do we not fall into a global scandal with locusts this year?” he said in February,
“The whole world is coming here. Football fields are green. Locusts love it where there is lots of green. How would they not come to the place where football is being played?”
A grasshopper invasion could prove disastrous for the host nation, with locust swarms known to travel great distances and consume most of the green vegetation in their path.