Fights between rival gangs of fans at the World Cup should be allowed and regulated by the authorities, says a top Russian politician.
The controversial proposal to permit hooligan brawls – and turn them into showcase events in stadiums – has also been highlighted by glamour spy Anna Chapman just a week before the tournament begins.
She also claimed that leaders of Russian ultra groups “are arranging ‘castings’ to select fighters for upcoming wars with rival fans’ groups.”
Igor Lebedev, a pro-Vladimir Putin ultranationalist who is also deputy chairman of the Russian parliament, this week rekindled a proposal he first made last year.
“Imagine English fans coming, for example,” said the politician who is also on the executive committee of the Russian Football Union, equivalent of the FA.
“So they come and start to brag.
“And our answer will be: the challenge was accepted, see you this time at the stadium.
“Twenty people from each side, no guns. Read the rules on our website.”
The Russian authorities have sought in the World Cup build-up to crush hooliganism, forcing fights to forests.
Gang leaders have been ordered to vanish to remote villages or face harsh sanctions from the FSB security service.
But Lebedev said: “We all have to understand that there are things which we can’t escape.”
He claimed: “Our fans are fighters, but not hooligans.
“And fan fights can be turned into sport… We can introduce rules and run competitions.”
Culled from Mirror