The Henry Jackson Society commented on the publication of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee’s report into the Foreign Office’s preparations for the 2018 World Cup.
Dr Andrew Foxall, Director of the Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society, whose evidence to the Committee is quoted in the report, said:
“Two years ago, the European Championships were marred by violence, with Russian hooligans actively targeting England fans. Anybody travelling to Russia for the World Cup needs to be on their guard for more of the same.
“Recent tensions between the UK and Russia, which follow from the poisoning of the Skripals and the resultant tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats, mean that England fans could be targeted for reprisals. This could be manifest in anything from racist attacks through to arresting individuals for spurious criminal charges.
“Russia’s ultras may want to use the world’s biggest football competition to crown themselves the world’s biggest football hooligans. The Foreign Office must do everything it can to try and ensure fans’ safety.”