by Callum Ellis
THE 2018 World Cup looms ever closer, but there seems to be mixed feelings between fans ahead of this summer’s tournament which kicks off on 14th June.
I though the days of football hooliganism were well and truly over until I saw the violent scenes that broke out in Marseille during the European Championships in 2016.
There is no doubt the violence will be at the back of every England fans’ mind heading to Russia, but should they be feeling anxious amid the safety concerns?
U.K Prime Minister Theresa May has already confirmed that no members of the royal family or government ministers will be travelling to the tournament.
And after further unsavoury scenes prior to England’s clash with Holland in Amsterdam last week, Russian police were on hand to witness the behaviour of drunken fans.
While Jesse Lingard’s second-half strike secured the victory for Gareth Southgate’s men, the minority of fans put England on the front pages for all the wrong reasons.
There has been major concern among supporters wanting to travel to the tournament, but the safety of those wanting to make the trip is absolutely paramount.
Russia’s security will be prepared for the challenges that they could face this summer, but the extremes of football hooliganism cannot be underestimated.
That is why England fans, who have been warned of the potential dangers, will need to be cautious during their time at the tournament.
The threat that comes with travelling to Russia will no doubt have an impact on the experience for supporters, as well as the players.
Despite some suggesting the risk of travelling is too high, manager Southgate has revealed he will be taking his family to the tournament.
This year’s tournament will be one for fans to make more memories supporting their countries, but only if hooliganism is eradicated from the beautiful game.
Football fans want to enjoy themselves when they spend their hard-earned money to watch their side, but that will be taken away if they spend the trip in fear.
There seems to be a minority of fans who spoil great events like the World Cup for the majority. Only time will tell whether we see the same violence that broke out in Marseille in 2016, but one thing is for sure, England need to vastly improve their reputation off the field.
(Featured image: cchana)