MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. British politicians are welcome in Russia just like any other football fan to attend matches of the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup and support their team, Local Organizing Committee (LOC) CEO Alexei Sorokin said on Friday.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in mid-March addressing the British parliament that members of the UK government and the royal family would not be attending matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Asked at a news conference in Moscow whether British ministers would be welcome in Russia in case they change their mind and decide to come to see their team playing at the World Cup, Sorokin said "I think we perfectly well showed to the world that we welcome any fan from any country."
"The atmosphere is truly hospitable and truly cordial at every city," he said. "They will be welcome as any fans, as any football lovers, and this we can ascertain."
"Anybody can come, anybody is welcome to support their teams," Sorokin stated. "We repeatedly told the world how puzzled we are at the decision of certain politicians not to visit the World Cup and support their teams, but they are always welcome."
Team England finished second in its Group G with six points below leaders Belgium (9 points) and advanced to the round of Last 16, where it will play against Colombia on July 3 at the Spartak Arena in Moscow.
Russia is staging its first-ever FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14.
The country 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.
A total of 32 national football teams entered the 2018 FIFA World Cup and only 16 of them proceeded to the knockout phase after the group stage, which kicked off on June 14 and ended on June 28.
According to FIFA’s official statistics, the total number of fans at all stadiums during 48 matches of the group stage came to 2,178,894 people, which carries an average of 45,394 at each match.
The 48 already played matches out of all scheduled 64 games at this World Cup saw 122 scored goals (2.54 per match on the average), with the national team of Belgium scoring the most in its three group stage matches (nine goals).