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Don't wear club colours in Moscow, Spurs tell fans

Published: 23rd September 2016 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2016 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur yesterday (Thursday) took the unprecedented step of warning their fans not to wear club colours while travelling to Moscow for the first meeting between teams from England and Russia since the violence that marred the countries' European Championship clash.

Spurs and the Foreign Office both issued their formal travel advice to supporters ahead of the club's Champions League trip to face CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, which takes place less than three months after Euro 2016.

The secretary of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust also urged fans attending the match to be "more vigilant" in light of the "awful" scenes in Marseille and Lille, in which CSKA fans were involved and which almost led to England and Russia being thrown out of Euro 2016.

Most of the official travel advice was the same normally given to Spurs supporters ahead of their European away games.

However, the club and Foreign Office both issued an additional warning about the wearing of club colours anywhere other than during Tuesday's match.

Spurs' advice read: "Please note, for additional personal security, it is suggested that you do not show your football colours until you are inside the stadium.

"Whilst flags and banners are welcome at the stadium, we recommend that they are not openly shown in the city centre."

The advice for supporters to be inconspicuous while in Moscow came in the wake of June's Euro 2016 fixture at which England fans were deliberately targeted by vicious Russian hooligans.

Dozens of England supporters were injured, with one left fighting for his life in a coma, after black-T-shirted thugs sporting knuckle-dusters and mouth-guards went on the rampage in Marseille's old town before the match.

Russian fans attacked again inside the Stade Velodrome at the end of the sides' 1-1 draw, while hostilities resumed days later ahead of their matches in Lille and Lens.

The T-shirts worn by some of the hooligans, who had publicly threatened violence during the build-up to the game, featured the names of CSKA and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Spurs said yesterday they had no intelligence CSKA fans were planning a similar ambush next week, insisting they had no fears of a repeat. No more than 250 supporters are expected to travel to Moscow and those who do will go either individually or in small groups, unlike the thousands of England fans who descended on Marseille.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed a "small number" of its officers would be on duty for Tuesday's game, with a spokesman telling The Daily Telegraph: "We have links with the Russian police and will be working closely with them."

The club, who are not offering official supporters' transport for the match, are also expected to bring some of their own stewards.

Supporters' Trust secretary Katrina Law said: "Obviously, it's up to everybody to be a little bit more vigilant than they perhaps normally would. We're always concerned about the safety of our fans but if the club are confident and the Foreign Office are saying that it's fine to travel there, and they've take enough precautions to make sure that our fans will be in the stadium safely, then that's our bit.

"We can't legislate for what individual travellers will do when they're over there."

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