Russia ready for zero tolerance, severe punishment for security reasons

XtraTime Web Desk: The head of the World Cup security operation warned on Monday night that there would be severe punishment for any fans involved in acts of destruction on the streets of the tournament’s host cities in Russia.

In the first clear indication from the Russians that there will be repercussions if England supporters misbehave, Alexei Lavrishchev said: ‘Fans will not start destroying everything on the streets. Maybe we’ll close our eyes to some minor offences, but for serious things the punishment will be severe.’

British police’s stringent banning order regime means no known troublemakers will travel here but the ‘stag culture’ which saw many fans drink to excess and damage property in Amsterdam in March is a concern.

Lavrishchev said boisterous responses by fans to victory and defeat would be accepted and that ‘enhanced security measures’ for the World Cup meant ‘law-abiding citizens’ had ‘nothing to fear’.

But the Russians’ zero tolerance of criminality extended to a warning that taxi drivers who try to fleece fans will be liable to face charges of fraud.

It is being left to individual host cities to decide what rules they impose for the sale of alcohol.

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