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    Kremlin on BBC Film on Russian Football Fans: Not Up to UK to Speak of Hooligans

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    The erosion of quality and objectivity in the United Kingdom's BBC broadcaster is evident and regretful with the latest documentary depicting Russian football hooligans, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The "Russia's Hooligan Army" documentary about Russian football fans, which aired on BBC late on Thursday, is criticized in Russia as a propaganda piece aimed at discouraging Britons from traveling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

    "Unfortunately, we have been witnessing recently an erosion of quality and objectivity of our colleagues from the BBC, in connection with with which we express regret," Peskov told reporters.

    Peskov said the Kremlin has not and does not intend to watch the "third-rate" film, and pointed to the UK's history of sports hooliganism.

    Earlier in the day, the Russian Embassy in London said in a statement that the documentary film by UK national broadcaster BBC, Russia's Hooligan Army, about Russian football fans, was shot with the intention of discrediting Russia ahead of the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in the country.

    "The film 'Russia’s Hooligan Army' shot and broadcast by BBC Two with Russia-hosted 2018 FIFA World Cup in mind is quite shocking. One gets the impression that its goal is to sow fear in British society and warn the fans against travelling to Russia. Based on edited footage of football fans’ clashes in Marseille and violent Russian fans, the filmmakers from the government-funded channel did their best to discredit Russia and the forthcoming World Cup," the embassy statement reads.

    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.

    Meanwhile, 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.


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    football fans, football, BBC, Dmitry Peskov, Russia
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