An organization representing soccer fans in Great Britain has issued a warning to LGBTQ fans that isn’t so pretty.
The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) is the democratic organization representing the rights of fans and arguing the views of football supporters in England and Wales. The warning they have issued to gay fans and same-sex couples visiting Russia for the World Cup reflects years of reports of anti-LGBTQ policies put forward by Vladimir Putin and his regime.
“Although same-sex sexual activity has been decriminalized in Russia since 1993, it is strongly understood and advised that you do not publicly display your sexuality,” said the FSF, “but this is up to the individual. With any trip abroad it is essential to understand your destination’s cultural and ideological beliefs. Whilst often you are able to behave as you would in the UK, certain things must be treated with caution in societies less tolerant than back home.”
Similar warnings were issued ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, though as far as Outsports is aware, no visiting same-sex couples were detained by Russian authorities.
The atmosphere in Russia for the World Cup is certainly on the minds of many fans, just as it was ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Whether Russian police will be daring enough to arrest gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals is yet to be known.