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English presence in Moscow builds amid tension with Russia

Some England supporters have been reluctant to wear their side’s national strip after violent clashes with Russian fans at Euro 2016 in Marseille.

The tentative English invasion of Moscow went up a gear as more fans showed their colours.

Supporters joined the fans of other nations in Moscow near the Kremlin as World Cup fever gripped the city.

Concerns over the possible threat of violence following the trouble seen in Marseille during Euro 2016 and the tense political relationship between Russia and the UK governments meant some fans were reluctant to wear their replica shirts.

But Dee Dee Murray, 60, was among those who ventured out near Red Square.

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Dee Dee Murray from Luton dressed in a crusader outfit (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Luton fan and local, dressed as a crusader, said: “It’s great, I was expecting it to be all friendly.

“When you’re back home in England they say be careful but it’s my sixth World Cup so I’m experienced.

“I was in Marseille and saw it all but I just kept away from it all.

“I’m here for peace.

“There’s a few from Luton, a couple of hundred so I’ll meet up with them.”

He said he did not think dressing as a crusader was offensive.

“They told us not to wear the suit but it’s nothing to do with other religions, I’m representing our nation,” he said.

“I’m a peaceful crusader.

“The three lions was our symbol.”

Jason, 50, and Heidi Ellis, 51, who live in Paris, headed to take in Vladimir Lenin’s tomb and posed for photos with their Union flag.

Jason, originally from Sheffield, and Heidi, originally from Hatfield, said they had seen few fellow England fans but felt comfortable wearing their shirts and said Russians had been welcoming.

Tunisia fans Mohamad Belhaj, 25, and Mohamed Amine Alaya, 27, said they believe their national team would beat England.

Mr Belhaj, from Hendon, north London, said: “We are here to support our team, it’s nice.

“I promise all the English fans Tunisia are going to win 3-1.”

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