Nigerian fans deny asking to bring chickens to matches

Rumors were swirling that Nigerian fans wanted to bring chickens to Nigeria's matches for good luck.

Nigerian fans at the Russia World Cup.   -  Getty Images

Nigerian fans are denying the bizarre reports that they wanted to bring chickens to World Cup matches for good luck.

According to the reports, the fans were denied requests to take the chickens into the stadiums, but Nigerian support clubs said it's not a tradition the country follows.

"That is ridiculous," Rafiu Ladipo, president of the Nigerian Football Supporters Club, said. "I have been leading this group for decades, and we have never carried a live chicken into any stadium.

"The only things we carry are our musical instruments and we pray. Prayer is the only charm we have. Why should we need a chicken? Maybe someone just wants to deceive them [the Russians]."

Vincent Okumagba, who is the president of the rival group Nigerian Eagles Supporters Club, said it's possible a fan decided to bring on their own chicken superstition and asked officials to bring the bird with them.

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"We read it just like everybody else, and we were a bit surprised. We would never make such a request, and we never did," Okumagba said. "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.

"Maybe somebody somewhere did not understand each other properly, I don't know."

Nigeria fell to Croatia Saturday 2-0, so it does leave one to wonder if chickens in the arena would have helped.

Probably not, but be on the lookout for feathered friends when Nigeria faces Iceland Friday.

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