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Half a million foreign tourists expected in Russia for 2018 FIFA World Cup

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15

MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. A month of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is expected to draw as many foreign tourists to Russian regions as they usually receive throughout the whole year, a local organizing committee senior executive said on Wednesday.

"We are expecting about 500,000 foreign tourists in Russia," General Director of the 2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Alexei Sorokin said. "Many regions will fulfill their annual plan of hosting tourists from abroad within just one month."

A week ago, the world’s governing football body, FIFA, announced the opening of the 3rd and final stage of ticket sales for matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in Russia in less than two months.

The FIFA announced that before the opening of the last stage of ticket sales a total of "1,698,049 tickets" had been allocated to football supporters from all over the world since the launch of Phase One of ticket sales in September 2017.

Over 164,000 tickets were purchased within 24 hours after the launch of the final stage of sales on April 18, according to FIFA.

The world’s football organization keeps reminding that at the request of the Russian authorities, all fans attending matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup need to apply for a Fan-ID - the official identity document issued to fans.

Russia came up for this FIFA World Cup with an innovation, which is the so-called Fan-ID and it is required for all ticketholders. This innovation was successfully tested during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia and earned high marks from the world’s governing football body.

The Fan-ID plays an important security role during the major football tournament in Russia as it grants admittance to the stadiums and also serves as a visa for foreign visitors to enter the country.

A Fan-ID holder is allowed to enter the country without having a Russian visa and stay for the duration of the global football tournament. Fan-IDs are obligatory, in addition to purchased tickets, in order to attend matches of the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 50 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.

Russia 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.