MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Russia began on Wednesday issuing the so-called fan-IDs for matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, to be held this summer in four cities across the country.
The first documents were handed out today during solemn ceremonies, which were held simultaneously in four cities selected to host the matches of the Confederations Cup, namely in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.
"We currently have about 10,000 ready fan-IDs and about 100,000 requests," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who attended the solemn ceremony in Moscow, said. "The process has just begun and we will be opening issuing centers, and if necessary we will open more of them."
"On the whole, I want to congratulate all of us with another completed stage of preparations," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said. "The availability of obtaining a fan-ID plays an important role in the process of preparations for the tournaments."
"We hope that the Confederations Cup will attract about 700,000 fans, while 3.5 million will come to see the matches of the (2018 FIFA) World Cup," Mutko added.
The fan-ID will play an important role in the provision of security during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup as they would be granting admittance 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 ten 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.
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.
Seven nations have already qualified for the 2017 Confederations Cup and they are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup winners Portugal and OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup winners New Zealand. The remaining eighth nation will be determined following the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football tournaments after the country clinched the bid, following the final vote at the FIFA Executive Committee in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bids from England, Portugal and Spain, in addition to a 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 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital of Moscow.