England football fans have purchased a mere 30,711 tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, with the start of the tournament only seven weeks away.
According to a report in The Sun, the Three Lions “have fewer World Cup ticket sales than Peru and China.”
The low figures could be a result of previous clashes between Russian and England fans at the 2016 European Championship in France.
The Sun reports that England supporters’ websites have been sent death threats and online football forums and social media in Russia “are awash with sinister threats and images showing thugs training for the blood-thirsty battle ahead”.
One Russian ‘ultra’ reportedly wrote: “You want a war, then you will have it. Fighting is in our blood – this June we will do more than just sing.”
In addition, relations between Russia and Western nations have deteriorated of late, and particularly since the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK last month.
US football fans, who have bought more World Cup tickets than every nation other than hosts Russia, have been warned about travelling to this summer’s event.
The US has not qualified for the tournament, but with 16,642 tickets bought, American fans were the biggest foreign buyers out of almost 400,000 tickets sold in the most recent sales period.
Meanwhile, 796,875 tickets have been sold to Russia fans, while German supporters have bought 55,136 tickets. Colombia has snapped up 60,199 tickets, with Mexico to have the support of 51,736 fans, and Argentina having bought 44,882 tickets.