Russia opens fan-ID centre for 2017 Confederations Cup, 2018 World Cup

ST.Petersburg (Russia), Dec 8 (IANS) Russia’s first centre for the registration and issuance of fan-IDs for the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup football tournaments has been declared open here.

“On the whole, we plan to hand out about three million of such passports,” Russian Football Union (RFU) President and Russia-2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chairman Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday, reports Efe.

He added it would be impossible to access a stadium without such ID cards and the decision to enter the fan-IDs was based on the country’s experience from hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The opening ceremony here on Wednesday was also attended by Russian Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov.

Mutko said the fan-IDs, also referred to as fans’ ‘passports’, were already available for the order and can be received starting in February.

Similar centres are set to open soon in three other cities, namely Moscow, Kazan and Sochi, which will be the venues for the 2017 Confederations Cup matches between June 17 and July 2.

The fan-ID will play an important role in the provision of security during the major football tournaments in Russia as they would be granting admission to the stadiums and would also serve as visas for foreign visitors.

A holder of the fan-ID will be allowed to enter the country without having a Russian visa and stay for the duration of the global football tournament as well as for the period of 10 days before and after the championship.

In order to clear the country’s border, a holder of the fan-ID would also have to produce an identification document, a ticket for a match or a document verifying the purchase of a ticket.