Written by Stephen Wennberg

Are you heading to Russia for the World Cup this year? Although the weather seems to be on everybody’s side, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed a good time. One fear that many travellers to the nation have stems from the violence that occurred during the Euro 2016 in France, where record levels of hooliganism and assaults shone a negative limelight on the Russian (and British) fans.

Russian “Ultras” as they became known, travelled to various regions in France to generate violence in and around the games, causing a series of global controversies that included the Russian government being accused of organising the attacks. With the World Cup set to make such a sizeable impact on Russia, the Kremlin (Russian Government) have been hard at work ensuring that all violence and aggression towards tourists is stamped out.

However, even as recently as the last 12 weeks has seen new incidents in the nation. During a friendly between France and Russia back in April that saw France beating the Russian side 3-1, a number of journalists reported hearing racist chants aimed specifically at France’s black players, including Ousmane Dembélé, N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba. This resulted in the Russian federation being fined £22,000 (1,830,797 Russian Rubles)

In a quote from the BBC, Lord Herman George Ouseley, founder of anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out, called the fine “pitiful”. He said: “The organisation reiterates its belief that the lack of effective action from Fifa against the issue of racism in Russian football will likely result in the further abuse of black players in matches involving the country.”

He went on to say “Ultimately, with this outcome, Kick It Out has little confidence that Fifa can effectively deal with potential incidents of racism during this summer’s World Cup and protect those black players, staff and supporters who will be in attendance.”

This guide, put together by the team over at Betfair 2018 World Cup odds  aims to keep you and your travel companions safe in the Russian nation this summer. Let us know if you made it over, and how your experience goes.


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Stephen Wennberg

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