01:52 GMT28 January 2020
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    The recent BBC "Russia's Hooligan Army" documentary about Russian football fans is a propaganda piece aimed at discouraging Britons from traveling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Vladimir Markin, the head of the Russian Football Union committee for security and working with fans, said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The film, which aired late on Thursday, is based on the events of the UEFA Euro 2016 championship in France, when at least 30 people were injured in clashes between Russia and England fans after a football match in Marseille.

    "This is a propaganda piece aimed at discrediting Russia, Russian football, and the World Cup in particular, to prevent as many British fans as possible from traveling to the World Cup. There is no other purpose. When there are no facts, any means will do. They are not averse to anything. The BBC has repeatedly shown its so-called objectivity toward Russia," Markin told R-Sport.

    Earlier in the day, the Russian embassy in London responded to the film by stressing that Russia was paying full heed to events at the previous major football tournaments when ensuring security at the 2018 World Cup. It added that the BBC appeared to be doing its best to discredit Russia ahead of the cup.

    Following the incident in Marseille, UEFA responded by conditionally disqualifying the Russian team, while a number of Russian fans were placed in a deportation center.

    The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held across venues in over 10 Russian cities in June and July 2018. The event will be the first ever World Cup to take place in Eastern Europe.


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