By 90Min
April 11, 2018

The 2018 World Cup is just over two months away, but tensions between several nations in the tournament, including England and the hosts Russia remain fragile at best. 

Senior US administration officials from the White House have advised British fans not to attend as they won't be as well protected.

The hostilities between Russia and the U.K. and the U.S. stem from the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England. The Russian government has denied all involvement, but that hasn't stopped 29 countries from expelling 145 Russian officials from their embassies. 


In response, Russia expelled 23 British and 60 American diplomats, matching the numbers of Russians expelled from those countries. 

But now, as the World Cup fast approaches, a U.S. official (who asked not to be named when speaking to theTelegraph) doesn't think it's a good idea for British or American fans to travel to Russia for the tournament.

“We won’t have the same ability to protect our citizens or even just deal with the regular consular affairs,” the official said.

“We’re not suggesting that there are going to be some major sets of incidents but it’s just that there are those larger concerns. We were trying to work with the Russians on counter-terrorism as well. Any large sporting event no matter what country now is a target.

“And so we’ve now got less ability to be able to do with the Russians than before because they’ve decimated the counterparts who would be dealing with this kind of thing, for the UK and the US."

English fans are famous for travelling in numbers to support the national team, but the number of tickets bought for the World Cup so far - 28,000 - is far lower than the figures for the Brazil 2014 World Cup at this same point.

A big reason could relate to fears of fan violence, especially considering the current political climate. At Euro 2016, Russian and England fans clashed on occasion with particularly ugly scenes culminating as Three Lions fans were attacked inside the stadium in Marseille. 

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