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Russia to issue identity cards to fans heading to World Cup 2018

Russia 2018 logo on Bolshoi

March 3 – Fans will need special identity cards to attend the 2018 World Cup and this summer’s Confederation Cup in Russia in a move to combat hooliganism which reared its ugly head at Euro 2016 – with Russia in the thick of it.

The Russian FA was handed a suspended disqualification UEFA and fined €150,000 ($157,605) after their fans were involved in violent clashes with England supporters before a group game in Marseille.

Colin Smith, director of competitions for FIFA, said Russian authorities would be responsible for issuing the identity cards.

“Every fan will be required to have a fan ID to enter the stadiums, both for the Confederations Cup and for FIFA World Cup, and so we have got trust in the authorities that everything will be done,” he told reporters during a tour of venues.

“What we can be sure of is that this will be a festival of football and there is no place in such festivals of football for those that are not here to support the sport or support the game.”

The cards will include a photograph and contact details and can be used instead of visas to enter the country.

The Confederations Cup will be staged in four of the 11 World Cup host cities – St Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi.

A BBC documentary last month alleged trouble could be planned for the World Cup orchestrated by Russia’s most notorious hooligans.  But FIFA president Gianni Infantino insists he is “not at all concerned” by the threat of violence.

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