British law enforcement authorities have blocked over 1,200 local football hooligans from entering Russia for the duration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday night in Moscow, the UK Home Office said in a statement on Wednesday, TASS reports.
"More than 1,200 troublemakers with a history of football-related disorder have been blocked from going to the World Cup after a joint operation by police and the Home Office," the statement said.
"The Football Banning Orders Authority (FBOA) - part of the Home Office - ordered 1,312 banned individuals who hold a passport to surrender it to police on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 June," according to the statement. "The latest figures released today (Wednesday 13 June) show that forces in England and Wales have accounted for 1,254 passports… Police will hold the passports until the World Cup final on 15 July."
The statement from the Home Office quoted Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd as commenting on the security measures that "The World Cup is a festival of football and is no place for violence or disorder."