Mark Perryman: I don’t think it has anything to do with England and Russia. If you look at the previous tournaments, I think like in South Africa 2010, in Brazil 2014 in particular, we had exactly the same type of media buildup where fans would go; I went to South Africa, we were told that we could be raped, murdered, and carjacked.
That was going to be on a good day. Nothing of the sort happened: fans came to find that it was a fantastic country, lovely people, great food, great environment, great reception; same with Brazil. … The media has kind of transferred this gross misrepresentation of England’s fans, because we were told all English fans were racists and xenophobes, fascists, hooligans and so on, and the vast majority are not.
Sputnik: Who benefits from these accusations, which the newspapers are alluding to?
What I said to English commutators, and hopefully it won’t offend Russian listeners: this is Putin’s great opportunity, this is Russia’s opportunity to showcase the World Cup; the last global sporting event of this kind of magnitude was of course Moscow 1980. Probably, the safest and best time you could possibly choose to visit Russia would be truly the four weeks of the World Cup, because … [anything dangerous] that might happen over other periods, simply won’t during the World Cup.
The views and opinions expressed by Mark Perryman are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.