Flies surround the English team during the anthem prior the group G match between Tunisia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Midges annoy players from England and Tunisia in Volgograd

June 18, 2018 - 6:28 pm
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VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — Little bugs were a big annoyance at the World Cup on Monday.

During England's 2-1 victory over Tunisia, midges descended on the Volgograd Arena. Players from both sides, but particularly those from England, spent an undue amount of time trying to ward them off during the match.

In Volgograd at this time of the year, midges are not uncommon. Set on the banks of the mighty Volga River, the seasonal change in weather unleashes millions of the little bugs.

Although the insects are harmless enough, the swarms can be a distraction.

For Harry Kane, who scored both of England's goals, they clearly were.

"We got told before that there was going to be quite a lot of flies and when we went out for the warm-up it was a lot more than we all kind of thought," Kane said.

"We had a lot of bug spray on before the game, halftime, which was important because there was some of them in your eyes, some of them in your mouth, but I guess that's part of just dealing whatever comes your way and the team coped with it well."

England teammate Ashley Young was also a tad distracted by the flying insects.

"Fairly annoying, but it's the same for both teams so you've got to get on with it," Young said.

Not everyone was bothered, though.

Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul said he didn't feel them because he was "so focused on the team, on the game."

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