Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Putin says safe World Cup crucial to Russia’s image

Putin says safe World Cup crucial to Russia’s image

Russian President Vladimir Putin poses for a picture with Alina Zagitova (left) and Evgenia Medvedeva, medal-winning skaters at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, at an awards ceremony at the Kremlin on Wednesday. AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin poses for a picture with Alina Zagitova (left) and Evgenia Medvedeva, medal-winning skaters at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, at an awards ceremony at the Kremlin on Wednesday. AFP

Putin says safe World Cup crucial to Russia’s image

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said a safe World Cup this summer would be essential for the country’s image, as the violence from Russian fans at Euro 2016 shadows preparations.

In a speech to police, Putin said that Russia, which is to host the championship for the first time, “must hold it at the highest level and most importantly, ensure maximum security for players and fans”.

“Of course you play a crucial role in achieving this aim,” Putin told police.

“I don’t doubt that at the World Cup you will also act appropriately in any given situation, in strict accordance with the law.”

He stressed that “the way this event goes and our country’s image will directly depend on your smooth, skilful work”.

The world football governing body FIFA last Friday expressed “complete trust” in Russia’s ability to ensure a safe World Cup, despite violence involving fans of Spartak Moscow in Spain during which a policeman died.

Russia will host the tournament in 11 cities from June 14 to July 15.

The lead-up has been coloured by fears of a repeat of the June 2016 rampage by Russian hooligans that erupted in the French port city of Marseille during the Euro tournament.

However, Russia has cracked down on football gangs and worked to identify hooligans seeking to attend the matches, even enlisting help from British police.

Putin has courted football fans in the past, even visiting the graveside of a Spartak Moscow fan shot dead in a mass fight with men from the Russian Caucasus in December 2010.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and