A group of Millwall fans from Russia have promised to throw their backing behind England and Gareth Southgate.
Despite the fact their homeland has become somewhat of a pariah state, the group have promised to support the Three Lions during the World Cup, in the same way they cheer on the Lions in the Championship. That is in spite of England and the rest of Great Britain being one of Ukraine’s biggest supporters, ever since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade their Eastern European neighbours.
England’s World Cup campaign begins on Monday November 21 with a tricky opening match against Iran. From within a St George’s flag emblazoned Russian pub dedicated to Winston Chruchill, the Russian group said they will be cheering on Harry Kane and co when the tournament kicks off.
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"We will support England,” Maxim Prokoeroenko said to the Sun. "My strong opinion is that the sport is above the politics.
"The political situation between our countries is not good, but it’s just football.” The supposed head of the Millwall Russian Lions also added, "I have many friends in UK, we keep on chatting, they are sending me pictures and videos from The Den.
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“I hope I will be able to come to London to see my Millwall again."
While the war has made returning to the UK next to impossible for the Russian Lions, things have also been made worse by the fact sanctions carried out against their nation have also stopped their favourite ale London Pride from being exported to the country.
"Russia is under sanctions now, so we can’t get it now, either we still have good choice of ales, lagers and spirits," the 42-year-old added. "I usually drink bitter ales or stouts and love Scottish pie and fish and chips.
"And a drum of good Islay smoked scotch is a nice choice in Russian cold climate." Nevertheless, from within a Churchill themed pub complete with St George’s flags, stacked plates of fish and chips, football memorabilia and an English style post-box, they will not be deterred from supporting the Three Lions.
After Iran, England will need to overcome the USA on November 25, before facing Wales the following Tuesday on November 29.
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