What sort of welcome will World Cup visitors get in Russia?

Eloise Marshall
June 11, 2018

"Everything's bad", declared the front page of Wednesday's Sport Express daily, which said the national side's play had dampened the mood of fans in the country.

World Cup hosts Russian Federation squandered the lead to draw 1-1 with Turkey in Moscow on Tuesday, extending their winless streak to seven matches in their last friendly before the tournament kicks off next week. "We need to learn how to attack constructively to get a result regardless of whether the opponents' team make mistakes or not". After beating Dynamo Moscow 3-0 they lost 3-0 to Brazil before a 3-1 defeat to France and a 1-0 defeat to Austria.

However, the attempts to put a courageous face on a sorry business angered many former Russian internationals. "I just can not grieve for the ridiculous coaching team that destroys our football".

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Members of the Iranian national football team, who will compete in the upcoming 2018 Fifa World Cup, hold flags during a welcoming ceremony upon their arrival at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow June 5, 2018. "You will be at the centre of the world's attention and I congratulate you for that", Modi said.

Iran have been drawn in Group B alongside former World Cup winners Spain, reigning European champions Portugal and Morocco. Uruguay is expected to win the group, while Saudi Arabia is likely finishing bottom, which means Russian Federation will need to battle it out with Egypt for a place in the knockout phase.

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