FOOTBALL fans planning to travel to Russia for the World Cup are being encouraged to stay safe by Rugby MP Mark Pawsey.
Set to kick off on Thursday June 14, the 21st World Cup will see thousands of fans travelling to the Russian Federation – which expelled over 70 UK diplomats in March in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
The Foreign Office’s ‘Be on the Ball’ campaign offers advice for British fans travelling to Russia, including specialist advice for BAME, LGBT and disabled fans and information on local customs.
Mr Pawsey said: “Despite the challenges posed by the expulsion of UK diplomats, I am pleased the Foreign Office is committed to ensuring British fans get the best possible support.
“As such, there will be additional consular staff on hand both in Russia and in neighbouring countries and the British Embassy in Moscow will be available day and night throughout the duration of the World Cup.
“I know how popular football is around Rugby and I am sure there will be some fans who travel to every World Cup. The important thing for fans to remember is to stay safe whilst travelling and being mindful of the ‘Be on the Ball’ campaign is an excellent well to help ensure that.”