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Warm Welcome For The Russians (If They Are Russians)
Published : 14 Mar 2013 10:48:31
Dozens of football fans from Dagestan, the unstable Russian republic, are set to arrive in Newcastle ahead of today's Europa League fixture against Anzhi.
Many more applied to come but had problems with their visas, much like Toon fans travelling to Moscow for last week’s away leg.
Those who do make it are likely to be the very rich or very determined as Dagestan, where most of the population is Muslim, is one of Russia’s poorest regions.
Recent terrorist attacks in Makhachkala, the republic’s capital and home to Anzhi FC, have led to the team living, training and often playing in Moscow - over 1,000 miles away from their home town.
The hardcore of Anzhi’s supporters - the Dagestani equivalent of the Toon Army - are known locally as “The Wild Division".
Askar Magomedov, a sports journalist at Svobodnaya Respublika: “If it wasn’t so difficult to get visas, you’d have about 100 Anzhi supporters going to matches abroad.
“But every time there’s about 20 or 30 who are denied travel documents.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad