MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. The design of Fan Houses, which Russia opens abroad ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, has been agreed upon with the world’s governing football body, the head of Russia’s cultural cooperation watchdog said on Tuesday.
Fan Houses have been already opened in 30 countries as part of the promotion of the much-anticipated global football championship, which kicks off in 11 cities across Russia in almost three weeks.
"The design of Fan Houses has been agreed with and sanctioned by the FIFA and the first such facility was opened in Germany," Eleonora Mitrofanova, the head of the Russian Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Cultural Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo), said.
"They (Fan Houses) are making presentations about host cities, explaining all regulations that will be in place during the world championship, explaining about Fan-IDs, visas, travels," she said. "Our athletes and fan clubs are actively participating in all of this."
"Fan Houses in 11 countries launched Russian language classes specifically for football fans, moreover we have also issued conversation guides, which would help people to find their way around as they come here."
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 23 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.
Fan-IDs for ticket holders
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 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 as well as to travel free of charge between the Russian cities hosting matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.