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World Cup Drunks Will Receive ‘Humane’ Treatment, Russian Official Promises

Sergei Fadeichev / TASS

The cells where intoxicated World Cup football fans will be taken to sober up will be more “humane” than notorious Soviet-era drunk tanks, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has promised.

“They are presented as drunk tanks, but in fact they're a way to create humane conditions,” Mutko, a former Sports Minister, was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency.

“If a person has had one drink too many, he needs to rest somewhere,” he added. “So it might as well be in a humane and dignified way.”

In Soviet times, drunk tanks, or vytrezviteli, became a preferred method to treat alcoholism. In fact, the sobering rooms were much like prisons.

The system was shut down by the Interior Ministry in 2011. But sobering rooms will be reintroduced in Russian cities for the World Cup tournament next year, Russian officials have announced.

In general, World Cup fans visiting Russia would do well to be on their best behavior. Earlier, Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Gorovoi warned that shirtless football fans would be “ruthlessly suppressed,” saying there would be no “half-naked people roaming the streets and squares of our Russian cities.”

The World Cup will be held from June 14 to July 15, 2018, in 11 cities in Russia.

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