Nazi-supporting England fans who were filmed chanting anti-Semitic songs glorifying Hitler in a Russian bar have been told by a judge they were "ruining" the feel-good factor being created by the World Cup.
The behaviour of David Batty and Michael Burns in Volgograd was described as "disgraceful" by the district judge after a video of them throwing Nazi salutes and chanting "sieg heil" was shared online.
An employee at the pub told The Telegraph that the incident had occurred last Monday before England beat Tunisia 2-1 at the new Volgograd Arena.
Three men are seen throwing Nazi salutes during the anti-Semitic song, which makes reference to Hitler and Auschwitz, and has been associated with some Chelsea supporters in the past.
The court heard how the pair both had tickets for upcoming matches at the 2018 World Cup, but judge Charlotte Holland said their non-attendance of these fixtures was an "unfortunate consequence of their actions".
She added: "I have seen the activity that you were involved in and seen the still images from what you did. You know that at this time people are getting behind the national team, including children, and your actions are ruining that."
The pair have been banned form being within a two-mile radius of any England football match until 2021.
In a statement released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) on Saturday, it was confirmed that the two men were to be served banning orders in relation to the incident.
The city of Volgograd, which was the venue for England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia, was formerly known as Stalingrad – the site of one of the bloodiest battles in history when Soviet soldiers repelled Hitler’s army during the Second World War.
Click Here: New Zealand rugby store
The pair both accepted the banning notice, which was served under the 1989 Football Spectators Act, when they appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
Batty, 58, of Doncaster, and 52-year-old Burns, from Billingham in Cleveland, both looked emotionless as they were sentenced.
Malcolm Christy, prosecuting, told the court how the pair had been involved in "inappropriate singing" and that a three-year ban would be the most suitable punishment.
A third man, 57-year-old Michael Herbert, was handed a five-year banning order at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, the NPCC said.
The incident threatened to cause tensions between countries during a World Cup that has otherwise been overwhelmingly friendly.
An FA spokeswoman told The Telegraph, after this paper made them aware of the video, that they were taking the incident "very seriously" and added: "The disgraceful conduct of the individuals in this video does not represent the values of the majority of English football fans supporting the team in Russia."
Piara Powar, executive director of the anti-discrimination group Fare network, said of the video: “This type of behaviour shows absolute ignorance of history, is insensitive and can be prosecuted under Russian law. All right-thinking England fans will join us in condemning them.
“Again to England fans we say be careful, do nothing that is likely to antagonise the worst of the Russian hooligans and bring trouble.”
Actions meant to incite hatred based on race or religion can be punished with up to five years in prison, according to the Russian criminal codex.
Volgograd news site V1.ru said the “scandalous” video had caused a furore and suggested deportation as the “softest” potential punishment for these England fans.
The clip, filmed on a mobile phone, is understood to have been shared on the encrypted messenger service Telegram, popular in Russia, before it was published on Twitter by various users.
Previously known as Stalingrad, this “hero city” is where Soviet and Nazi forces clashed in the bloodiest battle in history.
An employee at the Galereya Pub attempted to play down the significance of the anti-Semitic song, however, arguing that “all people have their own views” and explaining that the personnel “didn’t pay attention” to the song when it occurred.
“People just Sieg Heiled, that’s their life outlook, we don’t put a gag in their mouth,” said an employee who give his name only as Mikhail. “This could happen in our bar or anywhere else, on the street, we don’t have any relationship to this.”
Reacting to the video, several social media users angrily noted the supposed hypocrisy of reports about racism in Russian football in recent years.
But the Tottenham song was not the only racist incident in Volgograd. A Russian man was seen yelling “Russian hooligans” and repeatedly flashing a Nazi salute in a Volgograd bar days before the England fans’ incident.
Three Russian men were also witnessed chanting “Seig Heil, Rudolf Hess, Hitlerjugend SS” outside a pub full of drunken British fans early Tuesday morning.