Russia may simplify visa regulations for the upcoming World Cup in 2018.
A bill has been proposed to the Federal Assembly of Russia concerning the lifting of visa requirements for foreign travellers during the 2018 World Cup. These plans would affect those foreigners involved with the organisation and operation of the 2018 World Cup, as well as the 2017 Confederations’ Cup, who would be expected to skip consular procedures and fees.
The bill also proposed that a ticket to a World Cup game would be considered an official travel document, giving foreigners the right to free travel between Russian host cities during the competition. The intended change aims to boost tourism in Russia during the World Cup by making it easier for tourists to enter the country.
The host cities for the 2018 Russian World Cup were recently announced.
On September 29th FIFA announced the 11 cities to host the 64 matches during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
During a live broadcast on Russian Channel One it was announced that the following cities would host the World Cup in Russia: Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg. Of the 11 cities selected, 2 were not picked: Krasnodar and Yaroslavl.
Sepp Blatter was quoted that evening as saying: “The announcement of the host cities is the first concrete step taken in the delivery of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They make a decisive contribution to the success of the most popular sporting event. We look forward to a productive partnership on our road to the first FIFA World Cup in Eastern Europe.”
Vitaly Mutko, The Russian minister of sport and chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the Russian 2018 World Cup, added: “The final selection of the 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities is an important milestone en route to hosting the tournament in 2018. This decision launches the full-scale preparation for the FIFA World Cup in the 11 host cities across the country.”
During the same news conference, Vitaly Mutko announced that the planned budget for the World Cup had been doubled to 600 billion roubles (£12bn or $19bn), 40% of which would be spent on the construction and renovation of stadiums, whilst the rest of the budget would be spent on developing transport and hotel infrastructure.