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MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. The process of Russian visas issuance for foreign guests travelling to Russia to see matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup remains unchanged as it was stated four years ago, Alexei Sorokin, the director general of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2018, told TASS on Tuesday.
Some media reported earlier that Russia allegedly decided to scrap its earlier announced visa-free regime for the duration of the much-anticipated global football championship to be hosted by 11 cities across Russia in two years.
"Nothing has changed regarding the issue of visas," Sorokin said in an interview with TASS. "We have a guarantee from the government of the Russian Federation signed four years ago and stipulated by a federal law."
"It states that the visa-free regime will be in force for ticket holders," he said. "The national teams will be arriving under a special regime as this group is under a particular attention. A different visa procedure will be in force for them."
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football championship after the country won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bid from England, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.