NIZHNY NOVGOROD, December 19. /TASS/. A center for issuing fan-IDs, which are required along with tickets for attending matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, opened on Tuesday in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod.
Russian Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov greeted via an online video conference all guests and participants, who gathered for the opening ceremony.
"During the (2017 FIFA) Confederations Cup Russia proved that the system of fans identification is the only tool to mix the comfort and safety of spectators at football stadiums," Nikiforov said.
The minister said that based on the experience of the Confederations Cup, when 500 fan-IDs were issued, a total of two million can be issued for the upcoming World Cup, both for Russian and foreign football fans.
"On the whole, we plan to open 20 fan-ID issuance centers across Russia and we have already received 90,000 applications for this document," the minister added.
Nizhny Novgorod will host a total of six matches of the 2018 World Cup, namely four fixtures of the group stage, one of the Last 16 matches and one of the quarterfinal games.
The stadium in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, which is one of a hundred of world cities included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, is located in the Strelka district and bears the name of the Volga Arena.
In late October, the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media announced the launch of an on-line registration process for obtaining new fan-IDs, which are required to attend matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The fan-ID plays an important role in the provision of security during the major football tournament in Russia as it grants admittance to the stadiums and also serves as visa for foreign visitors to enter the country.
A holder of the fan-ID is allowed to enter the country without having a Russian visa and stay for the duration of the global football tournaments as well as for the period of ten days before and after both of the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup.
Fan-IDs are obligatory in addition for purchased tickets to attend matches of the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup tournaments in Russia. They were available free of charge at designated areas located in all hosting cities across Russia as well as via e-mails and postal services during the Confederations Cup.
After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup and last week the Russian capital held the Final Draw for the championship.
The Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup was held on December 1 at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow and determined the group breakdown for the FIFA flagship event next year. A total of 32 national football squads were divided into eight groups with four teams in each.
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.