KRASNOYARSK, August 7. /TASS/. Russia may extend visa-free entry for Fan ID holders until the Winter Universiade, scheduled to be held in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk in March 2019.
"We are considering this possibility. There are different views on that so consultations are underway," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets told reporters during a trip to Krasnoyarsk.
While in Krasnoyarsk, the deputy prime minister attended the International University Sports Federation (FISU) forum and assessed preparations for the 2019 university games.
Russia hosted its first ever FIFA World Cup between June 14 and July 15. The Fan ID - an innovation Russia introduced upon becoming the 2018 FIFA World Cup host - is a document that all those who purchased tickets for matches had to acquire. Fan IDs gave their holders the right to use public transport for free, particularly to travel by train between host cities. As for foreign nationals, Fan IDs gave them additional benefits such as visa-free entry to the Russian Federation. After the World Cup was over, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would continue to grant visa-free entry to Fan ID holders until the end of the year, while their family members would have a chance to get free Russian visas.
Russia’s Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk was elected to host the 2019 Winter Universiade at the FISU Executive Committee meeting in Brussels in 2013. The event is scheduled for March 2-12, 2019. Athletes will compete for 76 sets of awards in 11 sports, including biathlon, alpine skiing, curling, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, bandy, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, short track and ski orienteering. More than 3,000 athletes from 50 countries are planned to participate in the Universiade, while organizers expect over 200,000 visitors to attend the tournament.
The Winter Universiade is an international sporting and cultural event for university athletes, which takes place in a different city every two years. The event’s name is a combination of the words "university" and "Olympiad."