Swarms of locusts could attack football pitches and cause a “global scandal” at this summer’s World Cup, according to Russian government official Pyotr Chekmarev.
Chekmarev, head of the agriculture ministry’s crop farming department, said that around a million hectares of land in southern Russia was infested with locusts.
Amongst the locations that could be affected includes the World Cup host city of Volgograd, where England play Tunisia on 18 June.
Volgograd has already seen an infestation of locusts last year.
“One way or another, We have learnt how to deal with locusts, but how do we not fall into a global scandal with locusts this year?” Chekmarev added.
“The whole world is coming here. Football fields are green. Locusts love it where there is lots of green. How would they not come to the place where football is being played?”
The 2018 World Cup gets under way on 14 June and matches will take place in 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities.