England fans at the World Cup in Russia have smashed many of the myths created by the UK media ahead of the tournament, when the press portrayed the host country as a hostile nation riddled with racism and hooliganism.
Theo Ogden and his father Stephen, who traveled to Russia to support the Three Lions, posted a video on their YouTube channel sharing their experience of visiting football’s showpiece event.
The 16-minute video clip highlighted the Ogdens’ stay in Russia, with the two fans debunking the myths about the possible dangers they were told to expect.
They said that nobody had attempted to kill them upon their arrival in Russia, dispelling fears that “Russian hooligans will beat you up the minute you walk into the country.”
The fans received a warm welcome from locals who gave them high-fives while they were walking around the streets of Volgograd, where England opened their World Cup campaign.
“The expectations of the English media got into our heads a bit. It was completely the opposite,” Theo said, adding that he could wear an England shirt “loud and proud” with no fear of being attacked.
The Ogdens also couldn’t find evidence to back up the claims that Russians are largely stern, unfriendly and unsmiling – revealing that they were met by people in Samara who bought them a cake after viewing the pairs’ last-minute goal celebrations from the match against Tunisia.
The English visitors were impressed by the beauty of Russian nature, sharing incredible views of the Volga river – contradicting the oft-held belief that “Russia is a grey, flat miserable country.”