ISLAMABAD: Great news for Pakistani football fans. The Russian government has introduced a new policy that will allow the football lovers to enter the country without visa to witness Football World Cup- 2018 matches starting from June this year.
In order to ensure maximum participation of the football fans, for the first time the Russian government has relaxed its visa policy, and the match ticket has been given the status of visa. Anyone who has obtained the match ticket can enter Russia without visa to witness football matches.
It is pertinent to mention that all the online tickets of important matches have been sold out, and Russian authorities are terming this tournament a historic event. Moreover, the Russian authorities have confirmed that the tourists will be able to make use of free transport between the 11 host cities if the fans have the ticket for the game.
Talking to The News, Vyachslav Sentyrin, the first Secretary and Press Attaché of Russian Embassy, said the visa free entry is also applicable to the Pakistani football fans. However, he said Pakistani fans will have to obtain a match ticket from FIFA, and they have to obtain a FAN ID as well. He said the match tickets are available on FIFA website whereas the FAN ID can be obtained from HYPERLINK "http://www.fan-id.ru" www.fan-id.ru website. According to him the visa free facilities are available from 10 days before the starting of Football World Cup and will last for 10 days after the tournament is ended. However, the said visa will be applicable to only those cities where the football matches will be held, he informed.
According to him, the Russian government has ensured every possible measure to guarantee the security and safety of the football fans in the host country. He said the Russian government is keen to enhance the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Russia especially in the field of tourism. Similarly both the countries are working to enhance people to people contact as well.
It is pertinent to mention here that the football World Cup 2018 is starting from June 14 this month and final will be played on July 15, 2018. It is also important to note that Russia also held Winter Olympic 2014 in Sochi where similar system was used for the travelers and fans, and they entered their personal information in an online database.