World Cup 2018: Relief As Russia Assures Fans Of Safety

Russian authorities have given their “assurance” fans will be safe from violence at the World Cup finals.

Officials have a “blacklist” of known hooligans and have banned anyone responsible for trouble at Euro 2016 from attending, the Foreign Affairs Committee heard.

Foreign Office minister Harriett Baldwin was responding to concerns of other MPs.

About 10,000 England fans are expected to travel to Russia in June.

There were violent clashes when Russian fans charged England supporters in the stadium when the two countries played each other in Marseille at Euro 2016.

Trouble was also reported in the city’s streets between England, Russia and France fans.

Ms Baldwin told the committee that Russia was “responsible” for running a safe World Cup in June and had given its “assurances” to Fifa and the UK government.

She said the threat of hooliganism had been a focus of two years of planning ahead of the event.

The deployment of police officers who will be based in the country during the tournament was “at least as large as any other country” and co-operation with Russian authorities was “strong”, Ms Baldwin said.

Conservative MP Priti Patel questioned the minister about whether she was concerned there would be a repeat of the violence against England fans in Marseille.

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