Vitaly Mutko says CSKA fans are representing Russia
By Alex Marrow
Last Updated: 04/04/18 3:39pm
Russia's deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko has warned CSKA Moscow fans in London for their Europa League clash with Arsenal to remember they are representing Russia ahead of this summer's World Cup.
The former sports minister believes that any fan trouble will reflect badly on Russia and could be used against them.
Speaking to Tass Russian news agency, Mutko said: "I want the fans who are going to remember that they are representing Russia, and that we are World Cup hosts.
"They need to understand that any problems will be used against us."
Mutko stepped down as the head of the World Cup 2018 organising committee in December amid allegations of involvement in Russia's state-sponsored doping program.
Minister of Sport from 2008 until 2016, Mutko also offered his thoughts on CSKA's chances, saying he was a mixture of worried and optimistic.
"Arsenal, in my opinion, is not shining, it is not the same team that we were used to seeing in previous years. You can compete with this Arsenal team," he said.
"It is great to play on the road and CSKA can do it. They have an experienced defence, a professional and creative midfield and an aggressive 'centre-forward' in Pontus Wernbloom. I just want to wish them luck."
Play Super 6 for £250k
Could you be the next Super 6 jackpot winner? Enter your predictions for free here.