MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. More than 150,000 applications have been received for fan-IDs, which are required along with tickets for attending matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, Russian Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel on Tuesday.
"Fan-IDs issuance centers have already been opened. About 150,000 applications have been received. Ticket sales are not yet over, so we expect rather big interest," he said.
According to the minister, fan-IDs proved their worth during the Confederations Cup in 2017, when some 500,000 such documents were issued, including to foreign fans. The ministry plans to issue up to two million fan IDs for the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
"No one has ever used such novelty as the fan-ID. We have spent a lot of time and effort and are thankful to our colleagues from FIFA, who have accepted such technological novelty, for their support," he noted.
The ministry of communications announced the launch of on-line registration for fan-IDs in late October 2017. 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.
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.