The mayor of a Russian city has urged residents to refrain from hitting fans during the World Cup next year, Interfax news agency has reported.

Alexander Yaroshuk, the mayor of Kaliningrad, asked fans to avoid violence and encouraged locals to strike up conversation with the large amount of tourists expected in the city next year.

Speaking with a local radio station, he said: "One of the four games that take place in Kaliningrad will surely feature a top European team."

"I urge everyone to be hospitable, kind, not to beat anyone, if you know the English language, help the tourists - tell me, talk."

Kaliningrad, Russia's westernmost city, is one of 11 host venues. The city has built a 35,000-seater stadium and and is expected to host four group stage matches. Authorities are expecting around 70,000 to 100,000 tourists to attend the matches there.

Mayor Yaroshuck has urged residents to keep the city tidy and asked locals without tickets to stay away: "Of course, all of them will not be able to get in the stadium, so residents should clean up in their yards. Even better, they should plan to leave the city and relax in the countryside."

The final roster of teams is yet to be announced, but Ireland and Northern Ireland are hoping to join England in the 32 team competition which will take place from June 14 to July 15 next year.

Fan groups and football authorities are worried about a repeat of violence which marred Euro 2016. Russian hooligans have been blamed for clashes with England fans which left dozens injured in the French city of Marseille.

Witnesses laid blame on 200 Russian so-called "ultras" intent on provoking clashes between supporters.

Vladimir Putin initially brushed off accusations that Russian fans were behind the attack but has since introduced tough new sentencing laws to combat the risk of football violence.

The threat of Islamic-related terrorism also looms over the tournament. Russia has suffered a number of terrorist attacks in recent years, including an attack on the St. Petersburg metro which claimed the lives of 15 people in April this year.