Putin suggests rolling out visa-free World Cup FAN ID concept to other events

Putin suggests rolling out visa-free World Cup FAN ID concept to other events
Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that the FAN ID system used at the World Cup, which allowed visa-free entry into the country, could be extended to other cultural and sports events held in Russia.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup concluded on Sunday when France beat Croatia in the final in Moscow. The tournament saw the successful implementation of the FAN ID system, through which foreign supporters with match tickets also obtained a document allowing visa-free entry into Russia during the month-long event.

When asked by the Russian deputy prime minister in charge of sports, Olga Golodets, whether the technology for the system could be used for other events, Putin said it would be a logical step.

“I discussed this yesterday with [Prime Minister] Dmitry Anatolevich [Medvedev], it’s possible and rational. We’ll do it,” Putin said, according to TASS

Golodets noted that Russia will host the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, which will see thousands of foreign student-athletes visit Russia, along with their families and fans.   

Putin has already said that foreigners with FAN IDs will be able to use them for visa-free entry into the country until the end of the year – well beyond the original deadline date of 10 days after the World Cup, which ended on July 15.

FAN IDs were first introduced at the Confederations Cup in Russia last summer. Everyone with matchday tickets was required to gain an accompanying FAN ID for entry to the stadium – including Russians – but it proved popular as it eased the burden of getting a visa for many of the hundreds of thousands of foreign fans visiting the World Cup.