England fans dare to wear team colours in Moscow as World Cup excitement builds

England fans have begun to venture out in Moscow in team colours as anticipation builds for the opening of the World Cup.

James Ellis and Daniel Swaisland took in the atmosphere of Nikolskaya Street, near Red Square, which was packed with thousands of football fans from other nations.

The pair said they were nervous initially about wearing their England away shirts around the city amid warnings of tension between the UK and Russian governments and the memories of fan violence during Euro 2016.

Relations between the Kremlin and Britain have been plunged into the deep freeze since the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in March, with Theresa May pointing the finger at Vladimir Putin’s regime.

But the Three Lions’ fans said they had been pleased with the welcome they had received in the city, which they are visiting while working in the country.

Mr Ellis, 23, from Devizes, Wiltshire, said: “We’ve just been walking around sightseeing, people have been quite welcoming. It’s a good atmosphere, it’s been great.”

Asked if he had been concerned about the possibility of hostility following the attack by Russian hooligans in Marseille two years ago, he said: “It was a concern for us – we were debating ‘shall we walk around with these on or not’.

“You get a lot of attention – not negative attention though.”

Mr Swaisland, 21, from Andover, in Hampshire, said they had met a few other England fans who were reluctant to wear their team colours.

“We’ve been walking around since about 12 noon and we haven’t seen anyone with an England top on,” he said.

Neither men have tickets for any of the games but said they took a few days off to soak up the atmosphere in the capital.

Mr Swaisland said he believed England could win it, while Mr Ellis said he was hoping for a quarter or semi-final.

England play Tunisia in Volgograd, more than 560 miles south of Moscow, on Monday.

- Press Association

Related Articles

Poland are more than Lewandowski, claims coach, as Senegal look to main Mane

Lukaku brace inspires Belgium to opening win against World Cup debutants Panama

England eye series win but concerns remain: Talking points

Janne Andersson: VAR shouldn’t have been needed to give Sweden penalty

More in this Section

Andreas Granqvist penalty gives Sweden win against South Korea

Aliou Cisse tips ‘unique’ Sadio Mane to inspire Senegal to new World Cup glories

Carl Frampton to defend title at Windsor Park as Tyson Fury continues comeback

US Open winner Koepka backs Fleetwood for major glory

Today's Stories

Papertalk GAA Podcast: Flexible Clare reconnect with Banner army, patient Galway overcome jitters

Birdies replace bogeys as the Hills finally come alive

A Cork win to file under functional rather than flashy

Cork make late dash to line against Waterford


New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

More From The Irish Examiner