Some Russian football supporters are sending death threats to LGBT+ England fans just one month before the World Cup.
As a result, LGBT+ football supporters are being warned not to “publicly display sexuality” at the World Cup, the Football Supporters’ Federation said.
In a blog post about the World Cup, they wrote:
Although same-sex sexual activity has been decriminalised in Russia since 1993, it is strongly understood and advised that you do not publicly display your sexuality.
Some threats have been so serious that Pride in Football – a community of LGBT football fan groups – have allegedly had to report them to the police.
Joe White, Pride in Football's campaign leader told the Mirror:
We've had people say that if they find us they'll stab us, so it's been a mixture but they're being dealt with seriously and those investigations are still on going.
White added that although he will follow the guidelines, he wants to use the opportunity to highlight the rampant homophobia in the country.
I could go out and almost go back into the closet and act butch but that kind of plays exactly into what we are trying to show is an issue.
We shouldn't have to feel that we have to behave any differently than we would.
It's not like I'm going to be sticking my tongue down people's throats or anything. I'm going out there for the football and to experience the World Cup.
According to Reuters, hate crimes against LBGT+ people in Russia have doubled in the last five years.
This came in the wake of the country’s increased intolerance to the community, including passing a law that banned “gay propaganda”.