Nigeria fans carry chickens outside a World Cup stadium in South Africa in 2010. 
Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images

The nation's tradition of bringing live chickens to games for luck was also banned in the 2010 World Cup.

By Julia Poe
June 15, 2018

Russian officials in Kaliningrad are calling fowl on a Nigerian tradition of bringing good luck tokens to soccer matches.

It's common for fans of the team to bring live chickens into stadiums—often with their feathers died green to match the colors of the Nigerian flag—and to hoist the birds skyward during chants while egging on their team. But Russian officials announced on Thursday that chickens will be banned from the stadium for Saturday's match against Croatia.

"Fans from Nigeria asked if it's possible to go to the stadium with a chicken," Andrei Ermak, minister of culture in Kaliningrad, told Russian state news agency Interfax News. "It's their symbol, the citizens are seen with them at all matches, [but] we told them that to pass a live chicken, in any case, it is impossible."

Nigeria fans carry chickens outside a World Cup stadium in South Africa in 2010. 

Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images

The Russian policy follows the status quo set in the 2010 World Cup, when Super Eagles fans were also banned from carrying their chickens into Ellis Park for a game against Argentina in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

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.

 

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