MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Russian football fans of CSKA Moscow FC must not yield to provocations and avoid being engaged in conflicts during their club’s away match of the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals against Arsenal FC, Russia’s senior football official told TASS on Thursday.
The first leg quarterfinals match between CSKA and Arsenal kicks off on Thursday night at the Emirates Stadium in London. About 500 football fans of the Russian club are expected to attend the match, which begins at 19:05 GMT (10:05 p.m. Moscow time).
"The fans should behave decently, avoid looking for trouble and must not be instigating conflicts," Vladimir Markin, the head of the Russian Football Union’s (RFU) Committee on security and interaction with football fans, said in an interview with TASS.
"These people are travelling abroad and they must keep in mind that they are representing Russia - while footballers represent the country on the field, the fans are doing the same in the city streets and on the spectators’ stands and they must always remember about it," Markin said.
"Moreover, they must be thinking about themselves as well, because it would very difficult to help them if they eventually end up in trouble," the RFU official stated. "These are not children travelling to England, therefore they must not yield to provocations."
"If people travel to watch football, they must go and watch the match instead of entering arguments and picking up fights," Markin said.
The RFU official also said that CSKA FC’s department of security and interaction with fans delegated a special representative to London, who would be watching after the club’s fans at the guest sector during the match with Arsenal.
"There will be a security officer from the (CSKA) club at the guest sector of the stadium and he will be in constant contact with the police and the stadium’s administration," Markin added.
CSKA Moscow FC is the only football club from Russia to reach the quarterfinals stage of the current UEFA Europa League tournament. The return match with Arsenal is scheduled to be played in the Russian capital on April 12.
Andrei Zarubyan, the commercial director of CSKA Moscow FC, told TASS earlier in the week that between 100 and 150 Arsenal FC fans were expected to come from England for the second-leg match against CSKA in Moscow.