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Seagulls and their droppings are being blamed for South Africa’s remarkable defeat to Japan in the World Cup.

The Times has claimed that “team officials are reportedly furious that their training…has been disrupted by up to 100 seagulls and their seagull, shall we say, by-product.”

The Springboks are training at Eastbourne College, a posh private school in Sussex. The head groundsman Richard Maryan said he had to hire a Harris hawk named George to scare away the gulls.


“We had more than 100 gulls on the pitch after we had cut the grass and they were making an horrendous mess,” said Maryan, who grooms the ground by cutting the grass three times a week.

The paper said South African fans were using the seagull issue as an excuse for the loss to Japan, one of the biggest shocks in World Cup and sports history.

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