Nigerian football supporters have been left bemused by reports of a request to Russian officials to have live chickens taken into the World Cup venues as good-luck charms.
It was reported last week, on various platforms, that Nigerian fans had been denied their requests to take chickens into the stadiums, but it's a request the supporters say did not come from them.
According to reports, Andrei Yermak, Kaliningrad's minister for culture and tourism, said: "It was explained to the fans that according to safety regulations, it is not permitted to enter the stadium with live animals."
While many African countries do have intriguing rituals and superstitions, taking live chickens to games is not a tradition Nigerians tend to follow, according to the supporter groups.
Both the Nigerian Football Supporters Club and the Nigerian Eagles Supporters Club told KweséESPN they have no idea where the request, supposedly made ahead of Nigeria's opening game against Croatia, originated.
"That is ridiculous," Rafiu Ladipo, president of the NFSC, 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 heads the rival NESC, was equally amused by the reports, though he did concede that it was possible a fan went rogue, so to speak, and asked officials for permission on his own.
"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 told KweséESPN.
"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 lost their opening game of the World Cup against Croatia on Saturday and now need a win against Iceland to keep their tournament dreams alive.