1.The FIFA World Cup takes place in Russia between 14 June and 15 July. The Government expects up to 10,000 UK nationals to travel to the tournament. Matches will take place in 11 cities. England is due to play in Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kaliningrad. If the team gets beyond the group stages, it could play in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, or Samara.
2.The FCO has a duty to assist with consular support to fans travelling to Russia. We wanted to ensure that adequate support is available in a country where there is a history of violence at football matches—and particular risks to LGBT and BAME people—in a context of fraught relations between the UK and Russia. We decided to undertake this short inquiry to assess the FCO’s preparedness for the World Cup; to consider whether there are any urgent steps that might be taken to improve the support offered to UK fans; and identify any lessons to be learned in terms of preparation for similar events in the future.
3.As part of our inquiry we heard evidence from Harriett Baldwin, Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for consular policy, who spoke on behalf of the Government; Julia Longbottom, Director for Consular Affairs at the FCO; and Martin Harris, Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the FCO. We also heard from Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation; Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Lead for Football Policing; and Robert Sullivan, Director of Strategy and Communications at the Football Association. In addition, we raised the issue when taking evidence from the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. We also received a range of written submissions from journalists, academics, and representatives of advocacy groups and think tanks. We are grateful to our witnesses and those who provided written evidence.
1 , Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 23 June 2017. As of 3 May 2018. Note: the FCO has updated this page, and details may have changed.
2 , Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 23 June 2017. As of 3 May 2018. Note: the FCO has updated this page, and details may have changed.
Published: 8 June 2018