MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. Up to 10,000 football fans from England are expected to come to Russia next month to support their team at matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a spokesman for the British Embassy in Russia told TASS on Thursday.
"We are expecting about 10,000 citizens of Great Britain to visit Russia this year for the World Cup," the spokesman said adding that Britain and Russia enjoyed a positive cooperation ahead of the World Cup for almost two years.
"Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts (national lead of football policing) visited Russia twice over the last year," the spokesman said. "A delegation of British police worked during matches of the (2017 FIFA) Confederations Cup in July last year."
Britain’s Daily Star issued a report early this week stating that England’s football fans were gearing up for something in Russia during the World Cup and that it was "going to be like World War Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven." The Daily Star’s article was titled "England hooligan firms’ hardcore uniting to 'wipe the floor' with Russian Ultras."
Numerous clashes were reported between football fans at the UEFA Euro Cup tournament in France between June 10 and July 10, 2016. The most notorious altercations erupted between Russian and English football fans ahead of the June 11th match. Brawls began on June 9 in Marseilles, peaking on the day of the match.
Law enforcement authorities resorted to tear gas, smoke pellets and water cannons to disperse the brawlers. According to reports, more than 30 people had been injured in violent altercations, with four people sent to hospitals after sustaining severe injuries.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 21 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.