MADRID, April 15 — Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido promised on Sunday that the Spanish football players and supporters who travel to this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia can be assured of being well protected.
The ongoing tension between the US, UK, France and Russia over Syria has heightened tensions ahead of the tournament which kicks off in mid-June, while there are also fears that fans and players in Russia could be a target for Islamic terrorists.
Meanwhile incidents involving highly organized groups of Russian hooligans in France during the 2016 European Championships have also raised issues over fan security.
However, in an interview with sports paper, Diario Marca on Sunday, Zoido said that Spanish police would have a major role in protecting the Spanish national team.
“We are going to give protection to the Spain players, who will go to Russia accompanied by police officers,” said Zoido.
The minister added that the protection would also be for the Spanish supporters, who would “have Spanish police protection.”
“The government has to guarantee that they are able to enjoy the spectacle, that they feel protected by police, who are there to look after them and protect them,” he concluded.