Following a broadcast on BBC warning of a ‘festival of violence’ by hooligans at next year’s World Cup, Russian officials on Friday slammed the documentary as “propaganda” aimed at marring the event.
The documentary titled “Russia’s Hooligan Army” which aired on Thursday showed Russian fans predicting clashes between supporters — especially targeting British fans, with one of the hooligans saying it’s “100 percent guaranteed” that some fans in Russia would try to organise violence against England supporters.
But the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Vitaly Mutko, who is also the head of the World Cup organising committee, has insinuated that the show must be ignored, stating that the Russian security will meet its obligations.
“We need to look absolutely soberly at all this — an information campaign aimed to discredit,” Vitaly Mutko told TASS news agency.
“Russia gave security guarantees that were confirmed by the state and will meet its obligations,” he added.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Markin, the chief of Russia’s Football Union (RFU) security committee, decried claims in the BBC documentary as totally false.
“This is absolutely a work of propaganda,” he told the R-Sport news agency.
“It is designed to make as many English fans as possible refuse to come to the World Cup — there is no other aim.”
But FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, talking to a group of reporters after a meeting in Doha, had played down any possibility of violence at the global competition, as he believes the Russian authorities have it covered.
“I am not concerned about trouble in 2018, I have full confidence in the Russian authorities,” Infantino said.
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