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    UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino looks on during the draw for the UEFA Champions league round of sixteen at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on December 14, 2015

    FIFA Boss Cool About Alleged Hooligan Threats at Russia World Cup

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    FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Thursday he does not fear that hooligans will cause any troubles during next year’s World Football Cup in Russia, despite reported threats against foreign fans.

    "I am not concerned about trouble in 2018, I have full confidence in the Russian authorities," Infantino told a small group of reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Doha.

    Infantino’s comments came hours before Thursday night’s television documentary in Britain, which shows Russian fans threatening violence against English fans during the 2018 World Cup.

    On June 11, 2016 the Russian national football team played to a draw against England at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille during the UEFA Euro 2016.
    After the match, clashes between dozens of Russian and English fans erupted at the stadium. Later, two Russian nationals were detained after scuffles between Russian and English fans at and outside the stadium.

    Commenting on an article in London’s Guardian, titled “Russian Hooligans Warn England Fans of ‘Festival of Violence’ at World Cup 2018,” ex-leader of

    Spartak Moscow FC’s fan club Vasily Stepanov, better known as Vasya the Killer, and described as one of the fans allegedly preparing riots during next year’s World Cup, said that he had actually promised a warm welcome for the event’s guests.

    “All I said during my interview with BBC2 is that Russia welcomes its guests with bread and salt. It was in November, 2016,” Stepanov told LifeNews.

    He added that he had also spoken out about last year’s riots in Marseille where Russian fans were provoked by their English “friends.”

    “They [the British] acted like pigs, they insulted us, we had to respond and the media then raised hell blowing the whole thing out of proportion,” Stepanov said. 

    He added that the BBC2 journalists took his words “out of context” as part of what he described as the mainstream media’s vicious anti-Russian campaign.

    According to the Guardian, the BBC2 documentary to be aired tonight will show a group of young men preparing for brawls and scuffles during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    It shows, among others, Vasya the Killer, head of the Gladiators firm of Spartak Moscow supporters and a figure who also allegedly helped organize  last year’s violence during an UEFA Euro 2016 game in Marseille, saying that hooliganism had given him “principles and courage” along with “this feeling you are on top of Everest and can do anything.”

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