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Hot Topic for June 2018 World Cup 2018: Russia Gives Hooliganism Assurances

Current Hot Topic for June 2018

World Cup 2018: Russia Gives Hooliganism Assurances


World Cup 2018: Russia Gives Hooliganism Assurances

Background Story

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.

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.

The Foreign Office minister, 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. Ms Baldwin said it had been a “specific focus” of authorities and she welcomed the banning of hooligans.

She said: “I think this is an area where the police co-operation has been extensive but clearly as with any football event this is a risk that does need to be closely worked on and the risk of violence needs to be mitigated.”

Asked if there were particular groups England fans should be aware of, Ms Baldwin said there is a “blacklist of known troublemakers” numbering about 1,800 people.

The committee also heard that a “mobile embassy” will tour the cities hosting England games to assist fans.

She said the Foreign Office’s preparations had been affected by the expulsion of 23 UK diplomats from Russia in the wake of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March. But Ms Baldwin said her department had adapted to meet the challenge.

Ms Baldwin said she “accepts” Mr Tugendhat’s comments but there had been “assurances”. She urged fans to check the Foreign Office’s dedicated website as well as the general travel advice for Russia before making their decision whether to travel.

Fifa has announced the Russian football association has been fined after fans racially abused France players during a friendly in St. Petersburg. Monkey chants were aimed at several black players in March. Fifa says its disciplinary panel noted “the gravity of the incident but also the limited number of fans involved.” Fifa has a “zero tolerance approach” to discrimination. Efforts have been made in Russia to address racism in football; however, there were a total of 89 reported incidents of racism in Russian football in the 2016-17 season. What impact does discrimination and racism such as this have on football players during matches? How would this affect foreign visitors travelling to Russia during the world cup? What approach should be given if this abuse occurs during a match?

Travellers have been informed that public attitudes towards the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender + community in Russia are less tolerant than in the UK. The Football Supporters’ Federation has published a blog offering advice to LGBT+ fans planning to travel to Russia for the World Cup. Russia remains a difficult and dangerous place for sexual minorities. A vibrant gay scene exists in many of its major cities, and its younger generation is more tolerant. But several years of state-sponsored homophobia have had an effect on the general population. Since the controversial 2013 anti-gay law was passed, the number of recorded hate crimes has doubled. Polls also indicate a growing intolerance of LGBT communities. The director of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) has said LGBT supporters would be wise to avoid public displays of affection in public given the danger of random attacks. Yet, Russia has given forceful assurances that people’s safety will be taken care of. Why do you think younger people are more tolerant than others? What are your opinions on the safety of individuals travelling to Russia for the world cup? What does the ‘+’ stand for in LGBT+? Who are Pride in Football? Conduct research into this and find out more about the 2013 law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values”, also known in English-language media as the “gay propaganda law”.

When travelling abroad, it is important to check the foreign travel advice from the government to identify any safety or security precautions for travel. The government have released advice for British fans traveling to Russia for the World Cup. The overwhelming majority of visits to Russia are trouble-free. Since 2016, five British teams have played European matches in Russia, with no significant issues reported. However, tourists have been advised to avoid travelling to certain areas within the country. Why do you think the government are advising to travel to certain areas of Russia? How can you stay safe when travelling abroad? If you were to travel to Russia for the World Cup, how could you stay safe from potential football hooliganism? What are the general requirements for travel and airport security?

The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy and union of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Russia are a democratic country and elected Vladimir Putin to presidency in 2012; he was elected to a fourth presidential term in 2018, with more than 76% of the vote. At present, there are heightened political tensions between the UK and Russia. Travellers should be aware of the possibility of anti-British sentiment or harassment during this time and are advised by the government to remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations and avoid commenting publicly on political developments. Why can discussing politics cause tension and disagreements? How can you make yourself aware of what political rallies are taking place in Russia during the world cup? What is the role of the British Embassy? Where can they be located in Russia? If you find yourself in an aggressive or unsafe situation, what is the number of the emergency services you can contact?

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