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MOSCOW, August 11 (Itar-Tass) - Russian football fans hope a World Cup 2014 qualification match between Russia’s and Northern Ireland’s teams will be held without any incidents and riots in Belfast will be over.
“When the Russian team arrived in Belfast in the spring, it was welcomed by bad weather, now the city is in the grip of riots. It is an utter bad luck,” Alexander Shprygin, the head of the Russian Association of Football Fans, told Itar-Tass on Sunday. “Let us hope the situation will calm down by Wednesday. I am confidents that representatives of the Russian Football Union will be able to ensure security of our fans, along with their Northern Ireland’s colleagues and the local police. We expect that about 600 Russian fans will arrive in Northern Ireland. The bulk of these people have had tickets since the spring. Those who seek to find adventures will certainly find them.”
As many as 64 policemen and two civilians were injured in a recent outbreak of violence in Belfast.
A qualification match between Russia’s and Northern Ireland’s teams is planned for Wednesday, August 14. Initially, the match was to take place on March 22 but was postponed because of bad weather.