England fans’ should not be subject to harm at next summer’s World Cup, but their safety can’t be guaranteed if they are “really, really drunk and offensive,” a Russian tourism official has told The Telegraph.
A BBC investigation in February suggested hooligans have plans to attack England fans in Russia, with violence around the countries’ game at Euro 2016 still raising lingering concerns about personal safety for the upcoming World Cup.
But Visit Russia’s Igor Karzov said ahead of Friday’s World Cup draw that incidents may be avoided if England fans are moderate in their drinking, and that the police will be monitoring for disorderly supporters.
“It’s very important to know what you should do and what you can do and shouldn’t do in Russia because the culture is different,” he said. “Let’s say, British fans love to drink a lot. We know that and I can’t guarantee safety if fans are really, really drunk and offensive.
“We can’t guarantee everything’s going to be OK in that case. But, in general, I think there shouldn’t be any precautions.
“I would recommend to try to make sure that you don’t drink a lot when you’re in Russia. It’s OK to have a pint before or after the game.
“The security services will have a high level of control in Russia so they will try to make sure that people are not drunk so they will be watching and set up control if something is going.
“They will restrict alcohol to avoid any possible conflicts. The police will make sure everything is OK.”
Two fans were left in comas after England and Russia met at Euro 2016 in Marseille, but Karzov said he expected Russians to be “very hospitable” in their home country.
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