Art objects installed on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final Draw

World Cup in Russia: 'I Don't Care About Politics, I Want Football' - Fan

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UK newspaper The Sun has warned England’s football fans against travelling to Russia for next year’s World Cup saying that hundreds of Russian football hooligans will be free to attack English supporters at the upcoming matches. Radio Sputnik spoke with Diego Cione, a hardcore football fan from Berlin about these accusations.

Diego Cione: I live in Germany now but I am from Brazil, and four years ago we had the World Cup in Brazil and before that we had the same concerns regarding security but by the end it was beautiful in Brazil and everybody had a really good time in Brazil, so I am pretty much sure that the World Cup is family feast and it will be safe for everyone to go and see football.

Sputnik: Do you think this is all political, the media trying to stir up anti-Russian feelings?

Diego Cione: Yeah, I think so because we had the same in Brazil four years ago and people were doing this kind of news just to cause terror in tourists and everything else and by the end everything was totally fine. I am pretty much sure that this is what’s going to happen.

Sputnik: You present yourself as a hardcore football fan, would warning of this kind ever stop you from going to something as amazing as a World Cup? 

Diego Cione: I don’t care about all the political stuff, I just want to watch football by the end so I am pretty much sure we will have a good time there and I am very excited for the World Cup.

Sputnik: The UK has a reputation of having a very aggressive fan base, yet they are the ones that are actively criticizing Russian football supporters, what do you have to say about that?

Diego Cione: The hooliganism started in the UK so yeah I agree with this point.

Sputnik: Do you think there is perhaps a way to deal with this kind of a rowdy hooliganism by the fans? Do you think there is perhaps some sort of preparatory work that could be carried out by say people connected with local football teams to try and educate them?

Diego Cione: I think it’s a bigger problem, more than we think sometimes and it’s everything included like political stuff, economical stuff, there are a lot of things behind it and I think that the only way to do this is that the clubs and national teams need to take care of their supporters. They need to be involved in it also. 

In Brazil we had a case against racism two or three years ago. One supporter in the middle of the game was just calling names to another player from the other team and the team was two days later removed from the Brazilian championship. You need to punish the clubs so they feel it in their skin and they feel that they have to take care of their supporters. The authorities need to arrest them or don’t let them go to stadiums, hold their passports. It’s like a lot of effort that everybody needs to do to make the event safer.

The views and opinions expressed by Diego Cione are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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fan, interview, football, World Cup 2018, Germany
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