Nigeria fan groups are crying fowl to reports that some supporters asked to be allowed to bring live chickens to World Cup games for good luck.
It comes after a Russian politician told a government news agency last week that the country denied the obscure requests from Nigeria fans. But leaders from two major Nigerian fan groups say they don’t know where the pleas came from.
“That is ridiculous,” Rafiu Ladipo, president of the Nigerian Football Supporters Club told KweséESPN. “I have been leading this group for decades, and we have never carried a live chicken into any stadium.”
Vincent Okumagba, President of the Nigerian Eagles Supporters Club said he was surprised to hear about the chickens.
“We read it just like everybody else,” Okumagba told KweséESPN. “We would never make such a request, and we never did,”
— theScore (@theScore) June 15, 2018
It isn’t the first poultry-related controversy involving Nigeria fans at the World Cup. According to Business Insider, officials in South Africa made a similar decision to ban fans who brought chickens to Nigeria’s opening game against Argentina at the 2010 World Cup. Okumagba did concede the requests could have come from a fan who went rogue.
“Perhaps somebody on his own decided that he wanted to take a chicken into the stadium for his own purposes, or maybe he is just having fun. But we do not take chickens into the stadium,” says Okumagba
The Super Eagles will look to fly high in its next group match-up with Iceland on Friday. The game is a must-win after the team dropped its opener to Croatia, 2-0.