Flying ants could infest Wembley Stadium during the Euro 2020 final in London. The England vs Italy match could be marred by an insect infestation as weather station radar detected hundreds of thousands of “wedding flights” of ants near the arena above the London borough of the same name.
The final between England and Italy will take place on Sunday, during the mating season of the ants, which go on “mating flights” in huge numbers from June to September. Although the British Meteorological Office (Met Office) predicts “promising” weather for Sunday, it has also recorded this phenomenon, which potentially coincides with the final match and could be an unpleasant surprise for players and fans. Radar images released by the service show several huge, pulsating shadows hovering over the capital and surrounding areas, many of which are “actually insects,” according to the Met Office.
Adam Hart, professor of scientific communications at the University of Gloucestershire and a member of the Royal Entomological Society, told Sky News that Friday’s swarms were just the beginning of the species’ mating season. “If conditions are right on Sunday, there could be more than three lions (England’s national team emblem – Ed.) on jerseys at Wembley and around the country,” the scientist said.
Insects often attacked athletes during major sporting events. Flying ants are common at Wimbledon tennis matches, which take place in June and July. During the 2014 World Cup, Colombia’s James Rodriguez scored a penalty kick while a massive insect sat on his arm, and during a 2007 baseball game in the United States, insects fell from the sky and flooded the entire stadium.
According to the Met Office, showers are possible during the finals over Wembley, with temperatures around 17 degrees, the Guardian specifies.