Up to 20,000 Russian Fans Likely to Attend Euro 2008

Up to 20,000 Russian fans are expected to cheer their side on at Euro 2008, to be jointly held in Austria and Switzerland this month, the head of the Russian Football Union said on Friday.

"I believe that between 15,000 and 20,000 supporters will arrive from Russia," Vitaly Mutko told the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper, adding that while only 6,000 tickets had been allocated to Russia for each match he expected that the team's fans would buy tickets "through other channels."

The tournament kicks off on Saturday with a game between Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Russia start their campaign with a match against Spain on June 10. They then face Greece on June 14 and Sweden on June 18.

The number of Russian fans attending major soccer tournaments has increased each year since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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