MOSCOW, April 10. /TASS/. Foreign football fans will come to the Russia-hosted 2018 FIFA World Cup despite the anti-Russian campaign in the western media, Russia’s embassy in the US said, commenting on a White House official’s warning to fans to think twice before going to Russia.
"Despite the active anti-Russia campaign in the leading American media, and maybe because of it, the interest for our country is growing. Americans wish to see with their own eyes what it really happening in Russia," the Russian embassy said on Facebook.
The embassy pointed out that "according to FIFA, at the beginning of April, 16,462 tickets were purchased by American sports fans. They will constitute the biggest foreign fan group."
"This cannot but make up happy," the statement added.
"There sure is a threat. This threat is that a significant part of the population in the West will stop believing the everyday anti-Russia propaganda," the Russian embassy concluded.
A senior White House official earlier told The Guardian that football fans should "think twice because we won’t have the same ability to protect our citizens or even just dealing with the regular consular affairs when we’re there. And the other countries too. You would have that concern in any country about having the lack of consular support."
The 2018 FIFA World Cup, the first-ever hosted by Russia, will be held between June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.
Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay will make up Group A, while Group B will include Portugal, Spain, Iran and Morocco. Group C is going to consist of France, Australia, Peru and Denmark, while Group D will be Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. Group E will be composed of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Group F has Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea, while Group G will encompass Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England. Finally, Group H has Poland, Colombia, Senegal and Japan.