- Vladimir Markin warned Arsenal fans in Moscow not to go looking for trouble
- Around 300 Arsenal fans have travelled from the UK for Thursday night’s game
- Europa League tie comes amid heightened tensions between UK and Russia
- But Arsenal officials are confident there will be no problems at the match
- It comes just a few months before Russia stages the World Cup
Russian officials have warned Arsenal fans in Moscow for their Europa League tie with CSKA to behave themselves or face dire consequences.
The warning ahead of Thursday night’s quarter-final, second leg comes just a few months before the start of the World Cup in Russia.
The threat of Russian hooligans targeting English fans attending the tournament is a major concern and the World Cup comes at a time of heightened political tension between the United Kingdom and Russia.
Arsenal are in Moscow to take on CSKA in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final
Fewer than 300 Arsenal fans will be at the VEB Arena for the match on Thursday night
As Arsenal prepare to play in the capital, Russian Football Union official Vladimir Markin gave the warning.
He said: ‘If English fans are travelling to Moscow to watch the game, then they have nothing to be scared of. If English fans are here to look for ‘adventures’, they might find them.’
Around 300 Arsenal fans have travelled from London for Thursday night’s match at the VEB Arena, with club officials ‘perfectly happy’ with security arrangements.
The first leg, which saw around 500 CSKA fans at the Emirates Stadium, passed off peacefully as Arsenal established a 4-1 lead.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was delighted to report a warm reception from about 100 supporters at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport as they arrived on Wednesday.
Around 500 CSKA Moscow fans attended the first leg of the tie at the Emirates Stadium
Arsene Wenger played down suggestions there could be problems between the sets of fans
The two clubs meet amid the fall-out from the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury on March 5.
Theresa May’s government are also set to discuss whether to support United States-led attacks on the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria. Assad is backed by Russia and its president Vladimir Putin.
With British diplomats expelled from Moscow in the wake of the Skripal poisoning, fears have been raised for the security of the estimated 25,000 to 30,000 English fans that will be in Russia this summer.
Packs of Russian thugs targeted English fans in the French city of Marseille before their match there in the 2016 European Championship, leaving several injured.
England are set to play Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18, Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on June 24 and Belgium in Kaliningrad on June 28.
Russian thugs targeted English fans ahead of their Euro 2016 match in Marseille
There were clashes between the two sets of fans in Marseille ahead of the Euro 2016 match
Russian hooligans also attacked English fans after the final whistle inside the Stade Velodrome
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.