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England lodge complaint about Russia with Fifa

England’s 2018 World Cup bid team have made a formal complaint to Fifa after a the leader of the Russian bid, England’s main rival for the tournament, derided London’s problems with crime and problems with alcohol.

Alexei Sorokin, who has subsequently tried to play down his comments, also claimed that English fans had problems with racism, citing Man United supporters’ Green And Gold Campaign as an example of anti-Americanism. Understandably, coming from a Russian, these comments have struck something of a nerve.

‘We do not enter into squabbles, although we have much to say,’ said Sorokin, pointing a kettle as he did so. ‘It's no secret, for example, that in London they have the highest crime rate compared with other European cities, and the highest level of alcohol consumption among young people.

‘We could have a conversation about the lack of tolerance and the inciting of ethnic hatred by English fans. But we do not behave like someone who is always saying bad things about their neighbours.’

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