Queer football fans have been warned to conceal their sexuality following threats of violence directed at attendees of the World Cup in Russia.

The Football Supporters’ Federation advised LGBTI fans that they shouldn’t hold hands or make public displays of affection, PinkNews reported.

Joe White, leader of the Pride in Football campaign, said, “We’ve had people say that if they find us, they’ll stab us, so it’s been a mixture but they’re being dealt with seriously and those investigations are still ongoing.”

Activists have received death threats on top of the already toxic attitude towards LGBTI people in the country.

FIFA are “pushing the Russian authorities on investigating the threats and they now have, alongside UEFA, sexual orientation and gender identity rights as part of the bidding process,” White said.

“But it is ridiculous that they gave the World Cup to Russia and Qatar.”

The FSF’s advisory post states that fans should “understand your destination’s cultural and ideological beliefs” when overseas.

But White said that he isn’t going to behave any differently, and in fact advocated for waving rainbow flags at World Cup matches.

“If you’re comfortable having a rainbow flag, then definitely feel free to do so. It’s definitely something I’m going to be doing,” he said.

Tom Daley recently said he would look to speak out about the criminalisation of homosexuality at the Diving World Series in Russia.

It comes after reports of married couples fleeing the country due to death threats, death threats towards artists touring the country, and a Russian TV station holding a competition for gay people to win one-way tickets to the U.S.

Russia has also refused to investigate the extermination campaign against LGBTI people undertaken by Chechen authorities.

Pride in Football discussed boycotting the tournament but believe by attending, their visibility can make a powerful statement.

FIFA has been criticised for selecting Russia to be a host nation, as well as choosing Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, where homosexuality is illegal.

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