One of the social media themes easily detected after members of the media and fans alike thoroughly enjoyed themselves at a wonderful World Cup in Russia was the "what was all the fuss about?" post.
Travellers from western Europe headed to Russia fully versed in tales of hooliganism and against a news backdrop of Vladimir Putin's regime being linked to sinister acts from chemical attacks to electoral medalling.
A heavy police and security presence, along with the vetting allowed by FIFA's Fan ID system, meant football violence was never likely to stain the tournament, leaving fans from around the world to take in the imposing grandeur of Moscow, the elegance of St Petersburg and a nationwide party with a warm and welcoming public.
The fear for those pushing to tackle discrimination against ethnic minorities and the LGBT community in Russian football, such as Pavel Klymenko of the FARE Network, is their ongoing fight might be lost beneath the plaudits.
"Certainly for Russia this tournament has been a charm offensive," Klymenko told Omnisport at FARE's Diversity House in St Petersburg – a project that also featured a Moscow location throughout the tournament, providing a safe space for watching matches, parties, exhibitions and discussions.
2) The #DiversityHouse vibe. The two Houses were the only Human Rights spaces at the #WorldCup, together they hosted over 60 events.— Fare (@farenet) July 16, 2018
Thank you to all of our partners, friends and supporters. You were inspiring. pic.twitter.com/TbUHMWRkOg
"Many international fans have enjoyed the tournament but there have always been these underlying issues that many people felt were swept under the carpet.
"On the surface, you had an amazing experience of partying in central Moscow, bringing flags and booze to Red Square.
"But when someone wants to express an opinion or a protest… there have been instances of people going out into Red Square with just a blank sheet of paper and being arrested for that."
Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for the pitch invasion that interrupted Sunday's final between France and Croatia, and the art-punk protest group outlined demands for the release of political prisoners, an end to "illegal arrests" at rallies and the renewal of political competition in Russia via accompanying social media posts.
Additionally, Pussy Riot cited the late poet Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov to paint a contrast between benevolent policing during the World Cup and an anticipated return to a hardline approach.
"We can talk about someone having a great time on holiday in the Maldives but if you ask the locals how it is living in the Maldives they will tell you the story of poverty, of authoritarian government and religious oppression," Klymenko said.
|I´m still tired just looking at Robertson – Mourinho in awe of Liverpool intensity|
|Casillas takes swipe at Mourinho after United lose to Liverpool|
|Valverde relieved as Messi brilliance prevents another Levante nightmare|
|WATCH: Leno proposes to girlfriend after Bears clinch division title|
|Messi and Suarez the world´s best strike partnership, says Pique|
|Klopp: I cannot keep every Liverpool player happy|
|Messi and Suarez outscoring Real Madrid and Atletico in LaLiga|
|Levante 0 Barcelona 5: Marvellous Messi banishes ghosts of last season|
|Colts rout Cowboys to keep playoff hopes alive|
|Bears shake off Packers to win NFC North and return to playoffs|
|Mourinho explains Pogba omission and defends Lukaku´s Liverpool showing|
|Liverpool´s display against Manchester United one of the best, claims Klopp|
|Look away Jose! Damning stats expose Manchester United´s limp Liverpool loss|
|Time´s up, Mourinho: Manchester United can dither no longer|
|Manchester United´s players are not dishonest – Mourinho|
|Manchester United´s lack of ambition under Mourinho is scary – Keane|
|Mourinho: All Manchester United can achieve is fourth|
|Quagliarella should be protected by UNESCO, jokes Sampdoria coach|
|Manchester United surpass last season´s goals-against tally in first 17 games|
|Hasenhuttl revels in ´unbelievable´ victory over Arsenal|
|Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1: Shaqiri´s late show bails out Alisson as Reds return to the top|
|Edinburgh in control in Champions Cup, Racing win again|
|Emery ponders January signing after Bellerin injury|
|It is only a knock – Sarri plays down Hazard injury fears|
|Redskins QB Alex Smith released from hospital|
|Starc: If I listen to Warne, I may as well retire|
|Curry interviews retired NASA astronaut, apologises for moon comments|
|Hazard refusing to give up on Premier League title hopes|
|Ziyech & Blind score hat-tricks as Ajax claim 8-0 win|
|Canelo v Fielding: What next for three-weight champion Alvarez?|
|Southampton 3 Arsenal 2: Austin and Ings end Gunners´ long unbeaten run|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2: Sensational Hazard proves the difference|
|Pogba on the bench as Clyne starts for Liverpool|
|Lipsky ends long barren spell in Malelane|
|Lakers´ Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical|
|Fletcher pushed Miller on to Broncos sack record|
|The Sarri effect: Hazard surpasses 2017-18 goal involvements in just 16 games|
|Van der Burgh retires on a high note with breaststroke double|
|Rashford: Liverpool was never an option|
|No team Liverpool play this season will be as motivated as Man United – Klopp|
|India surprised by contentious Kohli decision - Bumrah|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 15|
|Miller eyeing Joshua bout at Madison Square Garden|
|Finch cleared of serious damage after another finger blow|
|Rashford ´untouchable´ because he plays on his limits – Mourinho|
|It´s important to have his mentality - Mayfield thrilled with Kobe Bryant visit as Browns beat Bronc|
|Centurion Latham indebted to ´world-class´ Williamson|
|Spurs´ Dier out until January after appendix removal|
|A-League Review: Glory down Jets to stay unbeaten|
|Philander ruled out of first Test|
|Controversial Kohli dismissal puts Australia in command|
|Thunder´s Westbrook: ´When we defend like that — best team in the league´|
|Kante at his best further forward, reiterates Sarri|
|Rose capitulates in Indonesia to squander chance to top rankings|
|Fielding: The better man won but I lived a dream|
|Rallying Bulls stun Spurs, LeBron and Ball post triple-doubles|
|Latham century puts New Zealand in commanding position|
|Mayfield leads Browns past Broncos|
|Canelo-GGG trilogy? We can make it happen – Alvarez|
|Canelo outclasses Fielding by third-round TKO|
|Farmer retains title prior to Canelo-Fielding bout|
|Qatar unveils Lusail Stadium for 2022 World Cup|
|Lakers pair LeBron, Ball revel in triple-double feat|
|Allegri hails ´great professional´ Ronaldo|
|LeBron, Ball first Lakers team-mates with triple-doubles in same game since 1982|
|Premier League contenders Liverpool ready to win titles – Henderson|
|Hopkins´ two TDs help Texans close in on AFC South title with win over Jets|
|Courtois: Simeone criticises Real Madrid to boost popularity|
|Mourinho in the dark over transfers as Pogba rumours swirl again|
|Mourinho marvels at Salah going nuclear|