England fans have been warned over waving the flag of St George in Russia Photo: AFP/File

England fans warned over flag-waving at World Cup

By Adrian Dennis

Police chiefs have urged England fans attending the World Cup not to display the flag of St George over fears it will be seen as antagonistic to their Russian hosts.

Mark Roberts of the National Police Chiefs' Council is heading to Russia with a team of fellow officers to work with their Russian counterparts to protect up to 10,000 England fans.

"I think people need to be really careful with flags. It can come across as almost imperialistic... and can cause antagonism," Roberts, the national lead for football policing, told Britain's Times newspaper.

"We really urge some caution about people putting flags out and waving them about in public.

"We would not expect people to come across to this country, get drunk and drape flags on the Cenotaph (the memorial to Britain's national war dead) so we need to extend the same courtesy when we go abroad."

After Russian hooligans attacked England fans in Marseilles in 2016, they posted photos of dozens of "captured" St George's flags, the report said.

Roberts warned fans to be particularly careful in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, which hosts England's opening game against Tunisia on June 18.

Tensions are high between Britain and Russia over the poisoning of former double agent Yuri Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury earlier this year. Britain has blamed Russia for the attempted murder, a charge that Moscow has strongly denied.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

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When police get involved in enforcing political correctness then you know you’re in Orwell territory.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@cla68, nailed it mate!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Besides the fact I am Scottish and we ain't going anyway...(boo hoo)

You could not give me free tickets to attend the World Cup in Russia.

I like my facial bone structure the way it is...thank you.

Stay safe guys.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

enforcing political correctness 

No one is "enforcing" anything.

People in charge of public safety (the heads of UK police) are urging fans to avoid endangering themselves by enraging violent Russian a-holes.

I say, wave away. It's on the local police to keep their hooligans in check. If they can't, they shouldn't be hosting.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The police chief is talking about 2 different things here; nothing wrong with 'respectfully' displaying your NT's colours i.e. shirt & flag imo, even in Russia. "Putting flags out and waving them about in public, getting drunk and draping flags over local monuments" is a whole different story. Do it at your own peril (in other words, don't do it if you don't want to get arrested &/or get your a** kicked by locals.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If they paint a red cross in each of the white quadrants, they can pretend they're Georgians...oh wait, the Russians hate them as well

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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