CONCACAF Champions League game delayed by hornet ‘infestation’ in bizarre scenes

A CONCACAF Champions League match was delayed by a hornet infestation before the game kicked off.

The fixture was between Guatemalan top division outfit Comunicaciones and Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids.

The Rapids were gearing up for their third appearance in the competition. They qualified by winning the 2021 MLS Western Conference.

Before the game, Colorado had not played a competitive match since November 25. They lost 1-0 to Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final on that occasion.

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Comunicaciones, meanwhile, had the upper hand in that respect. They have played seven games in the top division of Guatemala this season.

But both sides had to wait even longer to kick off when hornets delayed the game.

CONCACAF Champions League match delayed by hornets

With the game just minutes away from kicking off, the two teams had to put their game plans on hold for a while.

That is because, around one of the goals, a group of hornets had congregated. They formed a nest.

A video posted by Back Post Run shows two men in jackets walking over to the goal and attempting to remove the hornet’s nest from the crossbar.

It looks like they have two attempts to do so before taking a step back to look at the state of the goalmouth.

The hornets in question were likely European hornets – the only ‘true hornets’ found in North America. Female hornets can sting, so it makes sense why the officials would be keen to clear the nest away before both teams entered the field of play.

Of course, in a situation like this, people’s minds naturally turn to similar bizarre incidents in the past.

Freelance sports writer Brendan Ploen recalled several unfortunate moments involving the Rapids over the last 25 years.

And world football writer James Nalton referenced an Under-20 World Cup match between Colombia and Uruguay, where a group of bees literally engulfed one of the seats.

In 2019, a Tanzanian football match had to be briefly stopped when bees invaded the pitch.

When the CONCACAF Champions League game eventually kicked off, the Rapids couldn’t click into top gear. Comunicaciones won 1-0, with Cuba international Karel Espino scoring an 89th-minute winner.

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There is a second leg on February 24, meaning the Rapids have an opportunity to redeem themselves. Both teams will hope that hornets do not make their presence known again.

Featured Image Credit: Getty