Russia Initiates Hooligan Crackdown Ahead of 2018 World Cup and 2017 Confederations Cup

The Russian State Duma has introduced legislation that will see tougher punishments handed out to spectators for disorder at the 2018 World Cup and 2017 Confederations Cup.

The bill concerns “the gross violation of rules by supporters during official sporting tournaments” and will see fines doubled, as well as periods of detention for offenders.

 Prospective fans will also be preemptively prohibited from traveling to Russia from all countries if evidence is found that they have committed offenses at other sporting events.

The move comes after Russian fans were seen clashing with fans of rival countries during the Euro 2016 tournament in France. Some of the worst scenes were witnessed in Marseille before Russia met England.

Amendments were introduced to the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation, which sees fines double for rule violations in stands during official sporting tournaments from $350-$440 to 700-$880. Offenders can also be arrested and detained for a period of 10-15 days.

The bill covers “gross violation of laws of spectator behavior over the course of official sporting competitions,” with an imposed ban on attending games for up to seven years.

Gross violation is deemed to be “creating threats to safety, life, the health of those, situated in the area where official sporting tournaments are taking place, or in areas intended to host them,” or “triggering the end of a match.”

FIFA, world football’s governing body, backed the legislation program implemented by the State Duma at the end of March.

The first test for Russian authorities will be at the Confederations Cup which will be held this summer in Russia from June 17 to July 2, with St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi making up the host cities.

Next summer, Russia will also host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 12 stadiums in 11 host cities. It will be the first time Russia has held either tournament.


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