Safety of fans at the tournament

Putin ‘will use World Cup like Hitler’s Olympics’

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Boris Johnson has likened the way President Putin is promoting the World Cup in Russia to Hitler’s notorious use of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
The UK foreign secretary said Labour MP Ian Austin was “completely right” to say Russia’s president wanted to “gloss over [his]brutal corrupt regime”.
Mr Johnson said that he would have an “urgent conversation” with Russia about the safety of fans at the tournament.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said he was “poisoned with hatred”.
A Downing Street spokesman confirmed Mr Johnson was speaking on behalf of the government and that they were working closely with police on plans for the World Cup.
The foreign secretary said it was of “crucial importance” in light of 23 British diplomats being expelled from Russia – including the individual responsible for football fans.
So far, there have been 24,000 applications from England fans to attend the World Cup this summer, compared with 94,000 at the same stage in the build-up to Rio in 2014.
Mr Johnson said: “The numbers are well down but that does not mean we are not deeply concerned about how they may be treated.”
The Foreign Office will produce detailed travel advice closer to the time.
The exchange came as the Foreign Affairs Select Committee discussed the Salisbury spy attack.
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in a critical condition in hospital after being poisoned with the Russian nerve agent Novichok.
The former military intelligence officer and his daughter were found slumped on a bench and unconscious on 4 March.
On Thursday, Theresa May will tell EU leaders that although the attempted assassination of the Skripals took place on UK soil, the Russian threat places all European nations at risk.
She will tell the European Council summit in Brussels that “the UK will stand shoulder to shoulder with the EU and with Nato to face these threats together,” adding: “United, we will succeed.”
Earlier, Boris Johnson described it as “a sign” from President Putin that “no-one could escape the long arm of Russian revenge”.
He said: “[The attack] was a sign that President Putin or the Russian state wanted to give to potential defectors in their own agencies: ‘This is what happens to you if you decide to support a country with a different set of values. You can expect to be assassinated’.”
He also said Russia chose the UK for the attack as it had “called out” Russian abuses “time and again”. “We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward.” -BBC

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