Eng­land fans warned to re­spect war memo­ri­als

Daily Mail - - Sports - IAN HER­BERT re­ports from Vol­gograd

RUS­SIAN sup­port­ers here yes­ter­day told Sports­mail that they do not want clashes with Eng­land fans this week­end but warned that vi­o­la­tion of the city’s mon­u­ments to its Sec­ond World War ca­su­al­ties would not be tol­er­ated. Eng­land’s open­ing game is against Tu­nisia on Mon­day in this south-west Rus­sian city, formerly Stal­in­grad. Vol­gograd is dom­i­nated by the colos­sal Moth­er­land me­mo­rial to the mil­lions who died in the Sec­ond World War bat­tle. Bri­tish po­lice — who yes­ter­day or­dered more than 1,200 Eng­land fans with a his­tory of vi­o­lence to sur­ren­der their pass­ports — have urged trav­el­ling sup­port­ers to show re­spect. At the city’s Moliere bar, Dmitri Med­vdeva said: ‘We have never had many English here and want no trou­ble. We fol­low Eng­land foot­ball — the Premier League — and re­spect the coun­try but memo­ri­als are sa­cred.’ Bri­tish po­lice sources say har­mony may be helped by the fact that un­til the 1990s the city was closed to out­siders due to fears of in­dus­trial es­pi­onage. Vis­i­tors are still a novelty. Or­di­nary lo­cals dis­missed the row be­tween Rus­sia and Bri­tain over the Sal­is­bury poi­son­ings as two na­tions try­ing to avoid los­ing face. ‘Even fans most ready to fight do not con­sider it sig­nif­i­cant,’ said Grigor Vasiliev. ‘Peo­ple are pleased the English are com­ing.’

More than 1,200 Bri­tons known for foot­ball­re­lated dis­or­der have been stopped from trav­el­ling by hav­ing their pass­ports seized. But it seems that there is no wish for reprisals af­ter the vi­o­lence be­tween Rus­sia and Eng­land fans in Marseille at Euro 2016. Bar own­ers sug­gest that al­co­hol will be served on Mon­day. ‘There will be beer in our bar — and that ap­plies to oth­ers around here,’ said a worker at one craft beer bar. The Moliere restau­rant said it had been or­dered not to sell al­co­hol in bot­tles on Sun­day or Mon­day but would serve it at ta­bles. Eng­land will face Tu­nisia in high tem­per­a­tures. The mer­cury is ex­pected to hit the low ’30s dur­ing the day, al­though the match kicks off at 9pm lo­cal time.

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