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England-Tunisia World Cup game overrun by insects

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 6/18/2018 Dan Gartland
a group of football players on a field © Getty Images

Players in Monday’s England-Tunisia World Cup match were forced to deal with some unusual environmental conditions.

Large swarms of insects descended upon the riverside stadium in Volgograd and were entirely unescapable.

The bugs are believed to be midges, which is actually good news. Midges, unlike mosquitoes, do not bite. They do, however, have a history of disrupting sporting events—just ask former Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain.

Fox Sports cameras showed English players swatting away the flying pests during warmups. The problem is apparently not limited to midges, either. Fox’s cameras also captured some scary looking moths.

a insect on the ground © Fox Sports

The bugs shouldn’t be much of a nuisance for outfield players, who will be running around, but the goalkeepers could be annoyed if they are stuck standing still for long stretches.

The city of Volgograd applied repellants to the stadium area, though they didn’t appear to help much. The English team also coated its players in repellant before the start of the game, according to the BBC.

BBC radio commentator John Murray came up with an interesting plan to keep the bugs from distracting him in the booth.

“Our plan is to take some towels from the hotel to wear over our heads, but I am concerned about swallowing some while I am commentating,” Murray told the BBC.

Related slideshow: Best of 2018 World Cup (provided by USA TODAY sports)


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