World Cup 2018: 'Moustache of hope' supporting Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov

Stanislav Cherchesov
Stanislav Cherchesov was appointed Russia boss in 2016

Football fans in Russia are being urged to grow moustaches during the World Cup in support of the national team.

The 'moustache of hope' is backing Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov, who is well known for his signature facial hair.

"Cherchesov needs your support now," prominent Russian TV host Ivan Urgant, who launched the campaign, said on the Instagram account of his evening talk show Vecherny Urgant.

"Everything is against him: the forecasts, weather, the laws of physics, the anatomy of some football players and simple logic as well.

"We call upon everyone to grow a moustache and post your photos under the hashtag 'moustache of hope'."

Since then, photos of moustached people - both genuineexternal-link and fake,external-link have flooded social networks. Some people posted pictures of entire families wearing moustaches.

Russian fans with moustaches

Russia are the lowest-ranked team at the month-long tournament. They are 70th in Fifa's world rankings but automatically qualified as the host nation.

The teams's form going into the tournament has been poor - they have not won a match since 7 October.

Cherchesov's side start the month-long tournament against Saudi Arabia on Thursday at the Luzhniki Stadium (16:00 BST).

Russian dog with moustache

Their Group A campaign continues in St Petersburg against Egypt on 19 June (19:00) before finishing in Samara against Uruguay on 25 June (15:00).

Cherchesov was appointed Russia boss two years ago and given a target of leading the country to World Cup semi-finals.

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