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Superstitious Nigerian fans barred from carrying live chickens to match venues in Russia

Nigerian football fans, famous for carrying live chickens into Stadiums, have been barred from the practice by Russian authorities at the ongoing Fifa World Cup.

This after Nigerian fans, who are in Russia for the tournament, sought permission from the authorities to allow them to bring live chickens to stadiums during matches featuring their team.

While it is the mighty eagle, not the humble chicken, which serves as the team’s official symbol, the team’s supporters believe a live chicken painted in green and white brings good luck to the team.

The fans often have feathers of the chickens painted green to match the colors of the Nigerian flag and hoist the birds skyward while chanting and cheering the team.

According to Nigeria’s Daily Post, minister of culture and tourism in Kaliningrad region Andrei Ermak told reporters it would be “impossible” for them to bring chickens in the stadium.

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A Nigerian fan displays a live cockerel painted in green and draped in a green scarf during a past match. PHOTO | COURTESY

DENIED ENTRY

The minister however said that if the Nigerian fans wanted to watch matches at venues other than the official stadiums, they will advise them where the chicken can be bought.

The Kaliningrad Stadium is the venue of Super Eagles’ World Cup opener were they will meet Croatia on Saturday night at 9pm (Kenyan time).

Nigerian supporters have a history of trying to bring live chickens to World Cup football matches.

Eight years ago they were denied entry at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg after refusing to abandon the live poultry, painted green that they had brought along to their match against Argentina.

Whether the chickens were denied entry because of anti-bird policy on the part of Fifa or because they didn’t have tickets remains unclear.