What awaits England fans at the World Cup in Russia?

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Memories of violence at Euro 2016 are still fresh – but do fans and experts believe the hooligan threat is real?

In a Moscow pub decorated with British football memorabilia, a Russian supporter of local side CSKA was happy last week to reassure English fans planning to travel to this summer’s World Cup. Konstantin, or Kostya for short, says he doubts there will be violence because the toughest Russian hooligans have already lost their taste for fighting England supporters.

“It’s like being a mountain climber,” said Kostya, a member of one of the Russian capital’s prominent CSKA “firms”, after recalling how a group of Russian fans smashed through a contingent of English fans in Marseille in June 2016, using extreme violence. “Once you’ve reached the summit, you don’t do it again. There’s no point in beating them again. So they don’t have to be afraid to come to Russia, nothing’s going to happen.”

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