The head of Russian football’s security committee has warned Manchester United and Liverpool supporters against causing trouble at the clubs’ Champions League matches in Moscow this week, saying they could face “a long stay” in the country for any incidents.
Liverpool will face Spartak Moscow in the clubs’ second group stage match on Tuesday, while United will take on CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, with an estimated 2,000 fans set to accompany the Premier League powers at the stadiums.
Security teams from Anfield and Old Trafford have been working with Russian authorities ahead of the visits. However, Russian Football Union chief Vladimir Markin told the Tass state news agency on Monday there will be severe punishments for any hooliganism.
He said: “I don’t want to scare anyone but I warn those who plan to come here not to support their side and see the country but to commit hooliganism: The law is the same for all, not just for Russians.
“Those who break it will face a suitable punishment, possibly in the form of a long stay in Russia, in conditions our guests won’t like.”
Russian hooligans had warned England fans back in February that they are “100 percent guaranteed” to be targeted at the 2018 World Cup.
And there were scenes of violence at Euro 2016 in France as supporters of the two countries clashed, with two England fans left in a critical condition after three days of violence in Marseille while a group of Russian fans charged at England supporters inside the Stade Velodrome.
Russia, which will stage the 2018 World Cup, hosted the Confederations Cup this summer at which security was a major focus. However, the competition went off without major incident.