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Pitch-plaguing pests: Locusts pose no threat to 2018 World Cup grounds, vows LOC

The 2018 World Cup matches will be held between June 14 and July 15

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Locust swarms do not pose any threat to Russian stadiums that will be hosting matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Alexei Sorokin, head of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) said on Thursday.

Pyotr Chekmarev, a senior official from the Agriculture Ministry, urged Russian regions to step up measures against locusts in order to keep the insects off the football pitches.

"We read the statement with humor," Sorokin said commenting on Chekmarev’s advisory. "Locusts pose no threat to football pitches. Their grass is very short and is coated with special chemicals."

The 2018 World Cup matches will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in 11 cities across Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.