Gays attending next year's World Cup in Russia will be warned against any visible signs of affection in public.
Gays attending next year's World Cup in Russia will be warned against any visible signs of affection in public. Michael Reichel

From Russia with hate for gays and minorities

GAY football fans headed to the 2018 World Cup will be warned against holding hands or displaying affection in public in Russia.

Although homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, anti-gay sentiment remains strong and human rights activists allege widespread abuse of gays, blacks and ethnic minorities.

London-based group Fare - formerly Football Against Racism in Europe - is producing a cautionary guide to fans headed for the Cup.

Fare director Piara Powar said gay people visiting Russia should be cautious anywhere "not seen to be welcoming to the LGBT community”.

"The same message is there for black and ethnic minority fans - do go to the World Cup but be cautious,” Powar told the Associated Press.

"If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so? That depends on which city they are in and the time of day.

"It is not a crime to be gay (in Russia) but there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors.”

Fare has asked FIFA if supporters can wave rainbow flags at World Cup matches.

To date, about 300 fans from far-right extremist groups have been banned from attending the Cup.



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