England World Cup fans' FURY as they’re told NOT to wave flag as it will OFFEND foreigners

England’s head of football policing Mark Roberts warned the flag could be seen as “imperialistic” and suggested supporters leave them at home.

He said: “I think people need to be really careful with flags.

“It can come across as imperialistic and cause antagonism.”

Mr Roberts said one of the biggest concerns in Russia surrounds a “stag party excess” that could heavily aggravate police and locals.

He said: “If people from any other country got drunk and placed their flag on the Cenotaph it would make the locals here angry.”

But the message has not gone down well with some England fans who took to social media to defend the flag and their right to wave it.

Martin Baldwin tweeted: “Loving your country and its way of life is not right wing or fascist. Fly the flag with pride and let’s risk being dammed by the “Always Offended” brigade.”

Another fan posted: “Supporters advised not to use the St George’s flag at upcoming world cup because it is too nationalistic or patriotic? Damn right it is. And damn right we should be proud of it!”

Some supporters suggested Russia was the wrong country to be hosting the event if security and spectator safety had become such a major factor.

Thomas Gordon asked: “Why is a World Cup being held in a country where it’s felt necessary to issue this warning?”

The point was echoed by Andrew Lowe who tweeted: “Surely if visiting fans can’t wear their nation’s colours on safety grounds the World Cup shouldn’t take place in Russia?”

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the England Supporters’ Federation, said England fans will have to treat the Russian cities hosting the event with “respect”.

He said: “We have to treat the place with respect.

“It is one thing to hang a flag up in a bar where the landlord has been taking your money.

“But it is quite another to put in a place of particular sensitivity.

“We want to be treated as welcome guests.”

Mr Roberts also warned the “style of policing” in Russia is “really different” as he urged fans to be aware of an increased police presence during the hotly anticipated finals.

“Thousands” of police will greet fans as they approach the stadium, with avenues full of police with shields, helmets and guns, he said.

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