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Russian lawmakers submit bill requiring passports to buy tickets for sports events

October 17, 2014, 15:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to lawmakers, selling tickets upon submission of identification documents will help provide maximum security at sports competitions and track possible offenders during and after such events
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Football fans at one of the games

Football fans at one of the games

© ITAR-TASS/Ruslan Shamukov

MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. Lawmakers from the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, submitted for consideration on Friday a draft bill obliging people to show passports or any other identification documents when they buy tickets for sports events in Russia.

According to lawmakers, selling tickets upon submission of identification documents will help provide maximum security at sports competitions and track possible offenders during and after such events. If the Russian parliament approves the new bill, it will come into force starting January 1, 2015.

Alexander Shprygin, the chairman of the All-Russia Fans Union, said the new bill requiring passports to buy tickets was unnecessary as there was no need in toughening the current Russian legislation on fans.

“Such measures were initially planned to be put into effect in regard to one-time major sports events such as FIFA World Championship or Olympic Games,” Shprygin told TASS. “However, such norm has been withdrawn from the current bill thus toughening the initial law (on fans).”

Shprygin said the position of the fans’ union remained unchanged as they had been long opposed to toughening the existing Russian legislation on sports fans, particularly against the sale of tickets for sports competitions after submission of personal identification papers.

“However, there is still time left to change everything, and I can assure you that the current variant of the draft law is not the final one,” the chairman of the All-Russia Fans Union said.

Security at sports competitions and particularly fans behavior is currently one of the topical issues for Russian sports and state officials as the country is gearing up to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Russia Football Union’s (RFU) disciplinary committee had been recently very active in imposing penalties on domestic football clubs for their fans misconduct during the games. One of the most infamous incidents took place in May, when one of football players suffered a concussion at the hands of fans during the match time.

Dozens of Zenit FC fans rushed to the pitch of the Petrovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg on the 87th minute of the match on May 11, attacking players as Zenit was losing 2-4. One of the fans punched in the head Dynamo Moscow FC captain Vladimir Granat, who was later hospitalized and diagnosed with concussion.

Misbehavior of Russian football clubs’ fans recently also emerged at the international level and earlier in the month the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) imposed a set of penalties against Russia’s famous CSKA FC following the club’s match against AS Roma.

The match against AS Roma, which ended with CSKA’s crushing 1-5 defeat, was held on September 17 in the Italian capital. CSKA Moscow’s fans began casting flares starting after the 71st minute of the match and also attempted to force their way to another sector of the stadium from the one where they were seated.

The Russian club’s fans also entered a scuffle with AS Roma fans before the match, but police managed to disperse the fighting parties. Two of CSKA fans were detained by police before the game and 15 more after the match.

UEFA also accused CSKA fans of unfolding a banner during the match that allegedly contained a race-hate instigation statement.

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