Much of the build-up to the 2018 World Cup has focused on the threat of Russian hooligans following the violent and despicable scenes in France during the European Championships two years ago.
Militant Russian hooligans targeted England fans in Marseille, provoking, ambushing and then severely beating Three Lions supporters in shocking scenes televised across the world.
And with Russia set to host the tournament themselves this summer, fears are growing organised groups of hooligans – who have even been holding hooligan training camps deep in secluded forests – could cause chaos once again.
But one security expert has warned Express.co.uk the danger extends far beyond running battles between two sets of fans and instead reaches to the very top of Russian politics.
Professor Anthony Glees, director of the University of Buckingham’s Centre for Security and Intelligence, said England’s star players could be targeted in “honey-trap” plots.
He said “gorgeous” Russia women could seduce England players in the build-up to a big game before blackmailing them – or worse.
Professor Glees said the Kremlin would do everything in its power to reduce England’s chances of winning the tournament.
He said: “I know England don’t have much hope [at winning the World Cup] but if there’s some way to scupper England’s chances even more, through food poisoning, or honey traps with leading players and gorgeous Russian girls, they will do it.
“It’s consistent with a country where the dividing line between state and supporters appears to many observers to have disappeared altogether.
“I’m not hysterical about this, I accept none of this is a done deal and I know some people are less averse to risk than I am. But I’m saying they could do it, these are the sort of things that could happen.
“Football is a beautiful game but throughout modern times for almost 100 years since the Berlin Olympics in 1936 big sporting events have been used by authoritarian states for their own advantage.”
Honey-traps are an established Kremlin tactic, with one former diplomat claiming British officials were specifically warned to avoid Russian women.
Sir Andrew Wood told CBS: “It’s one of those things that everybody knows.”
And British soldiers have also been targeted by Russian honey-traps while deployed in Estonia.
Mikk Marran, the former head of the Estonian intelligence services, said last year: “There will be 800 young British soldiers. People will be Travelling from their bases to the cities. Probably they do some pub hopping.
“We cannot exclude some fights that might be triggered by the opposite team, as we call it in Estonia. For example traditional honeytraps and so forth.”
Source : EXPRESS