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Largest number of FIFA World Cup fans in Russia came from China, US, Mexico

During the FIFA World Cup, more than 633,000 foreigners entered Russia using FAN IDs

MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. China, the United States and Mexico accounted for the largest number of fans who arrived in Russia for this summer’s FIFA World Cup, according to the data released by the Federal Security Service’s border guards on Sunday.

"The largest number of fans came to Russia from China (over 53,000), the United States (more than 46,000), Mexico (more than 41,000), Argentina (over 31,000), Brazil (more than 27,000), Germany and the United Kingdom (more than 25,000), Colombia (over 23,000), Peru and France (nearly 20,000) and Croatia (over 18,000)," the FSB said.

During the FIFA World Cup, more than 633,000 foreigners entered Russia using FAN IDs. The main destinations were Moscow and St. Petersburg. The largest numbers of foreigners - more than 80% - arrived at the Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, Vnukovo and Pulkovo airports.

According to the FSB’s Border Service, the overall number of foreigners coming to Russia remained unchanged compared with last year (some 5 million). However, the number of visitors from the countries participating in the World Cup sharply grew.

On August 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on visa-free entry to Russia for holders of Fan IDs they used to attend matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup till the end of this year.

Despite the British media publications about alleged threats in Russia, the United Kingdom had the second largest number of fans from the European Union at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, after Germany, according to the data.

This March, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK House of Commons published a report warning British citizens planning to visit the FIFA World Cup in Russia about alleged threats. Among them the lawmakers named anti-UK sentiment, racism, hooliganism, violence based on ethnic grounds. The Russian Embassy in London rejected British media publications, which paint the events in Russia with black colors, including about "aggressive" Russian football fans.