MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Hooligans will not be allowed to attend matches at the 2018 World Cup since the organizers are working hand in glove with law enforcement agencies regarding security measures, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said on Friday at an online conference in the Russian Public Chamber.
"Working with fans is, first and foremost, an issue of security. From this point of view, they will be solved and hooligans will not be allowed into the stadiums," Kolobkov affirmed. "There exists a fan ‘passport’, so those who have been banned from visiting stadiums, will not be allowed to see the matches. Our agencies operate in close cooperation with relevant bodies."
Earlier, the BBC released a documentary in which Russian hooligans were supposedly warning British football fans about a ‘festival of violence’ allegedly hinting at the notorious clashes in the French Riviera city of Marseille during the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup games.
"About the BBC recent documentary about Russian fans, it was an unprincipled film as our fans are not like that," he added. "We will be pleased to welcome fans from other countries. And let the documentary remain on the conscience of its authors."
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, 2018 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital of Moscow.