UK reporters asked to present negative stories ahead of FIFA World Cup in Russia – spokeswoman

British reporters have been instructed to churn out negative stories ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. “We learned that reporters from the UK - not just one media outlet, but a number of them - received, in the truest sense of the word, a state order to launch a smear campaign for holding the World Cup in Russia,” TASS quoted her as saying. Among the stories that could emerge she cited Russia’s alleged lack of the necessary infrastructure and conditions to hold the championship, the aggressive behavior of Russian fans, a lack of professionalism among local law enforcement officials and the inability to guarantee foreign tourists’ safety. “Stories, topics and approaches had been already conjured up,” Zakharova said.