Russia: Rainbow flags allowed at World Cup, but LGBT fans cannot ‘propagate’ to minors

Fans at Russia 2018 will be allowed to fly rainbow flags to highlight the rights of LGBT supporters but must not promote same-sex relationships to minors, according to the former Chelsea player Alexei Smertin.

Smertin, now a Russian Football Union official and World Cup ambassador, said rainbow paraphernalia will be tolerated. Being gay is not illegal in Russia but the country has a law banning teaching about homosexuality in schools.

“There will definitely be no ban on wearing rainbow symbols in Russia,” he said. “It’s clear you can come here and not be fined for expressing feelings. The law is about propaganda to minors. I can’t imagine that anyone is going to go into a school and propagate that way to children.”

Smertin’s remarks were welcomed by the Fare network, which advises Fifa on discrimination issues. “He’s giving some reassurances and that’s all that people want,” the Fare executive director, Piara Powar, said. “People want to know that they can come here safely, that they will be protected, that they are wanted.” Read more via Guardian