In a few hours, Tottenham Hotspur will play CSKA Moscow at the Arena CSKA in Russia. There are reportedly a few hundred Spurs fans that have made the trip to Moscow to watch them play, and yesterday the club had some advice for traveling support, suggesting they keep their heads down until they’re in the stadium.
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 Club is rightly proud of the good behaviour of our fans during previous European travels and we would ask that you uphold this and remember that you are an Ambassador for the Club and therefore we would respectfully request that you behave accordingly throughout the entirety of your stay.
There’s been a fair amount of hand-wringing about this match, especially in light of the fan violence involving Russian and English fans at this summer’s European Championships in France. While the vast majority of football fans in both nations are friendly and welcoming, it’s not at all unheard of for fans who openly support an opposing team to encounter problems, especially in European competition.
Nearly a year ago, a group of Tottenham supporters at a local pub were attacked by a group of ultras in Belgium ahead of Spurs’ Europa League tie with Anderlecht, and there have been similar clashes between fan groups in Italy and Spain in the past decade.
Obviously we hope that there are no incidents of fan violence in Moscow today, but unfortunately even today it’s no longer a given. Thanks to this summer’s Euros, there’s already a recent history of violence between English and Russian fans. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail tonight.