Russian soccer fans have been told to drink whiskey on their trip to Wales for next month's World Cup qualifier to ward off the H1N1 swine flu virus, the head of the country's supporter association (VOB) said Monday.
"We urge our fans to drink a lot of Welsh whiskey as a form of disinfection," VOB head Alexander Shprygin told Reuters.
"That should cure all symptoms of the disease."
Russia's Health Ministry has issued a public warning against traveling to Britain because of the spread of the H1N1 virus but Shprygin said he expected at least several hundred fans would go to Wales for the September 9 qualifier in Cardiff.
"Health officials say this virus is very dangerous but being a fan myself I can tell you that for a real fan nothing is more important than the well-being of the team," said Shprygin, who also sits on the executive board of the Russian FA.
"Russian fans don't fear anything or anybody so this virus will not stand in our way of supporting our team."
The Russian FA also said health issues should not prevent fans from traveling.
"We don't want our team to be without any support for such an important match so we urge our fans to go to Wales despite the health warning," a spokesman said.
Germany lead European Group Four with 16 points from six games, one ahead of Russia, with Wales in fourth place on nine points from seven matches।
Welsh whisky downs swine flu? 4th August 2009 13:06
The only whisky distillery in Wales has been thrust to the forefront of the fight against swine flu, following comments by the head of Russia's football supporters' club.
"We urge our fans to drink a lot of Welsh whisky as a form of disinfection," Alexander Shprygin told Reuters this week, ahead of Russia's World Cup Qualifier with Wales in Cardiff on 9 September.
"That should cure all symptoms of the disease," he added.
Exactly where Shprygin has gleaned his insight on beating the H1N1 virus remains unclear.
Still, I don't suppose the Penderyn Distillery in the Brecon Beacons will mind. Billed as the "best little distillery in Wales" on the Penderyn website, the group goes on to explain that, "in fact, the Penderyn Distillery is the only distillery in Wales".
Shprygin's comments followed an official warning from Russia's health agency, which has urged fans not to attend the Wales game due to concerns about swine flu in the UK.