• Russia 2018’s Alexei Smertin says LGBT fans will be welcomed
• ‘I can’t imagine anyone going to a school and propagating that way to children’
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.