January 25 – A report by Russia’s state-run newspaper Pravda has accused neighbours Ukraine of trying to disrupt next summer’s World Cup.
The publication says Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin is trying to canvass support for fan protests and even a boycott.
“We are in talks with different federations and various fan organisations about how they can raise different political issues either by boycotting this championship or clearly expressing their position during their stay in Russia,” Klimkin was quoted as saying.
Deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defence, Yury Shvytkin, told Pravda: “This is an attempt to create a negative response to the World Cup in Russia, and, of course, to draw attention to Kiev’s destructive position.”
“We have a database of fans prone to rioting, who were previously in the sight of law enforcement agencies – either in our country or abroad, so the authorities will pay even more attention to them.”
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