MOSCOW (AP) — A senior Russian lawmaker advised Russian women Wednesday to be vigilant during any romantic encounters with foreign fans flocking to Russia for the World Cup so as not to end up raising their children alone.
Tamara Pletnyova, the head of a parliamentary committee on family matters, said in an interview with the Govorit Moskva (Moscow Speaks) radio station that she hopes Russian women will decide against casual relationships with foreign spectators that may end up in unplanned pregnancies.
Tens of thousands of foreign fans are heading to Russia for the tournament, which kicks off Thursday. FIFA says it has sold 2.5 million tickets for the event, including around 870,000 tickets sold to Russians. Most of the visitors are men.
"There probably will be girls who will meet (foreign fans) and have children," Pletnyova told the radio station. "Maybe there will be such girls or maybe not, I hope, maybe they will think better of it."
"I know that children suffer if they are abandoned and they are left here with the mother," Pletnyova. "Who will marry (them)?"
Pletnyova warned that even if a foreign visitor ends up marrying a Russian woman, it can still bring about difficulties. She said that she has received complaints from some Russian women who moved abroad after marrying foreigners and eventually lost custody of their children.
Pletnyova suggested that local marriages worked better.
"I would like to see people in our country to get married for love. It doesn't matter what nationality they are (as long as) they are Russian citizens," Pletnyova said. "I want to see them build good families, live in harmony, have children and raise them, this is what I would like to see."