Radical hooligan groups worry Russian security ahead of World Cup
Russia's Federal Security Service (FBS) has made preparing for potential hooliganism a priority as the country gets ready to host the 2018 World Cup, according to the Associated Press.
The head of the FBS, Alexander Bortnikov, said the threat of "radical" hooligan groups "very much worries" his organization. On Sunday, 49 police officers were injured during clashes between German hooligans and police in Cologne, Germany, which is the type of threat the FBS is worried about.
Concerns also stem from "possible terrorist attacks by insurgents from Russia's North Caucasus, and perhaps incidents linked to the Ukraine crisis," according to the AP.
Russia president Vladimir Putin met with FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Tuesday and talked about his country's security plans for the tournament.
"I emphasize that security measures must be effective but not intrusive or extraneous, and not creating discomfort for sportsmen or for fans," said Putin.
Putin also said that a major influence in the way things are handled for the World Cup will be what Russia did for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The president also talked about his expectations for Russia's team during the tournament, saying it must be "better than we saw in Brazil." Russia had two draws and one loss at the 2014 World Cup and did not advance past group play.
- Molly Geary