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Football hooligans to be barred from entering Russia for FIFA tournaments

Security measures during the world championship will be organized at the highest possible level, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Football hooligans will be barred from entering Russia for matches of 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.

"Those having no desire to support their national teams and seeking to come to our country for some other purposes, will not be allowed to enter Russia," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said.

The deputy prime minister stated that security measures during the world championship would be organized at the highest possible level.

"The security concept of the tournament was approved by the president of Russia," according to Mutko. "Special security headquarters were set up ahead of the tournament."

"I hope that our law enforcers’ experience gained during the previous tournaments, including the (2014) Olympic Games in Sochi, will help us to organize a safe tournament," he added.

The Council of Europe, Mutko continued, worked out a special convention, which would have black lists of football hooligans.

"The Council of Europe worked out a special convention and will have lists of hooligans, who will be barred from going to matches in Russia and other countries," Mutko said. "Such blacklists already exist and our law enforcement bodies work on them."

Russia began on Wednesday issuing the so-called fan-IDs for matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, to be held this summer in four cities across the country.

The fan-ID will play an important role in the provision of security during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup as they would be granting admittance to the stadiums and would also serve as visas for foreign visitors.

A holder of the fan-ID will be allowed to enter the country without having a Russian visa and stay for the duration of the global football tournament as well as for the period of ten days before and after the championship.

In order to clear the country’s border a holder of the fan-ID would also have to produce an identification document, a ticket for a match or a document verifying the purchase of a ticket.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.

Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football tournaments after the country clinched the bid, following the final vote at the FIFA Executive Committee in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bids from England, Portugal and Spain, in addition to a joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

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 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital of Moscow.