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18 Mar, 2017 16:17

‘Blah Blah Channel’: Spartak fans taunt BBC over documentary with banner

Spartak Moscow fans displayed a banner deriding the BBC during their Russian Football Premier League derby match with Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday.

During the first half of the match at Lokomotiv Stadium, Spartak fans unfurled a banner featuring a mock picture containing two masked fans, with one holding a scarf bearing stripes in Spartak colors, and the other, displayed on a TV screen with the BBC logo, brandishing a machete.

The bottom of the banner reads: “Blah Blah Channel” – a reference to the BBC documentary “Russia’s Hooligan Army” that aired last month.

The documentary has angered many Russian football fans, as it paints the country’s football supporters in an extremely negative light, depicting them as thugs intent on violence.

READ MORE: ‘Barefaced lies’: Russian football fan on BBC documentary British press reports

Another banner emerged moments later with the message “#WelcomeToRussia2018 – Supporters of a big country” written in Russian, an open invite to fans to visit the World Cup.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be played at 12 stadiums across 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15. Prior to that Russia will host 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup from June 17 to July 2. It will be the first time either tournament has been held in Russia.