MX23RW : Sunday, October 21 06:43:37

England fans warned about "off-the-scale" security levels at Russia World Cup

England fans reminded of high WC security
England fans heading to the World Cup in Russia are warned by Mark Roberts, national lead of football policing, to expect "off the scale" numbers of military-style police.

England fans heading to the World Cup in Russia have been warned to expect "off-the-scale" numbers of military-style police at the tournament.

Up to 10,000 Three Lions supporters are expected to travel to the world's largest country next month to watch their team in action.

However, demand for tickets is lower than for previous tournaments, with only one of England's Group G games selling out its FA allocation so far.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, national lead of football policing, has stressed that thousands of Russian officers, who are routinely armed, will be deployed on match days for security purposes.

"As you approach the stadiums there is an overwhelming presence and I think the chances of disorder in any of those environments is pretty remote," Roberts is quoted by The Independent as saying.

Chief Inspector Joe Stokoe, who will travel to the cities hosting England games, added: "People do need to be aware that the levels of policing and military is probably going to be off the scale to what we particularly see in the UK."

More than 100 fans were arrested when England played the Netherlands in a friendly earlier this year and English police have since had to reassure Russian authorities that only "genuine fans" will go to the World Cup.

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