11:10 GMT +312 December 2017
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    2018 World Cup: Iranian Fans Can't Wait to 'Fill Up' Russian Stadiums

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    After upsetting Uzbekistan 2-0 in the second round of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Iran climbed to the top of its Asian Confederation group, winning a ticket to next year’s football extravaganza.

    Interviewed by Sputnik, football fans from across Iran said how happy and proud they feel about their team. They also said that no Western threats would prevent them from coming to Russia to root for their national squad.

    They said that Russia fully deserves the honor of hosting football’s premier event, that sport and politics are entirely different things, and that they are sure that Russia will provide maximum security guarantees for both the participants and guests of the 2018 World Cup.

    Pouria from Lorestan: “I’m happy that the Iranian team will be going to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which is our neighbor. I’m sure to go there to support our national squad. I’m not afraid of going to Moscow or any other city in Russia.”

    Manila from Tehran: “Of course I’m happy that our team is going to play at the 2018 World Cup. It’s a great honor for all of us here in Iran. I’m not afraid of going to Russia, I’ve been there before. I have no jitters about the Russian people’s mentality, foreign tourists are safe there. On the contrary, I will be happy to come over and root for our team.”

    Ali from Ramsar: “As an Iranian, I’m glad that our footballers are going to play at the world championship. I’m also glad that the World Cup will be held in Russia, which is just a 3.5-hour flight from here. If I have the chance, I’d be happy to come to Russia to support our team.”

    Despite all Western attempts to badmouth next year’s World Cup in Russia, Iranian fans are foursquare behind it, Abbas Ismail Beigi, leader of the Persepolis football club’s fan smovement, told Sputnik Persian.

    “We just can’t wait to go to Russia. Iranian fans never listen to the lies some countries are telling [about the 2018 World Cup in Russia]. The only thing that bothers us is the high cost of our stay in Russia. Still, with the financial support we’ve been getting from the  Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran and special offers from Russia, we hope that many Iranians will be able to come to Russia,” Abbas Ismail Beigi said.

    “We have a short message to those who are demonizing Russia: if you don’t go to the World Cup, Iranian fans will fill up all the stadiums there are in Russia,” he added.

    The BBC documentary “Russia’s Hooligan Army” aired in February; it falsified information to assert that Russian football fans plan to stir up trouble for English supporters during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held across venues in over 10 Russian cities in June and July 2018.

    Related:

    Iranian Football Fans Eager to Go to 2018 World Cup in Russia
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    fans, Iranian national team, 2018 World Football Cup, Persepolis FC, Abbas Ismail Beigi, Iran
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