Russia has a unique problem ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it’s biblical. Government officials are warning of the possibility of playing surfaces being decimated by a locust swarm.
Pyotr Chekmaryov of the agricultural ministry is preparing for the worst as locusts, which are common in the south of Russia around this time, could set their voracious sights on newly sodded stadiums, built in preparation for the event.
“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.”
Russian officials are afraid the locusts could cause international embarrassment for the country when teams arrive for the World Cup, which is set to begin in June. There’s essentially no way to ensure fields will be safe from the insects, because as Chekmaryov put it:
“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?”
Makes sense. Locusts do, after all, like green. So prepare yourselves for a very brown, plague-ridden World Cup.