‘The World Cup is a very important way to measure the good players, and the great ones’ – Pele
The beautiful game of football is played worldwide by millions of men, women, and children. Played first (official association football) in 1863 and how the game has grown since this scoreless draw between Barnes and Richmond. Now represented by an estimated 265 million people across 207 member associations, and the pinnacle of association football is the World Cup.
Hosted every four years since 1930, Russia hosts the 2018 competition which starts on Thursday 14th June. This tournaments’ hosts are Russia, and the bidding was not without scandal or controversy. Allegations of corruption were raised by the English Association, with suggestions that Russia bought votes. Russia has quite strict laws against freedom of speech and profound discrimination with regards to race and LGBT groups. Ongoing doping issues are surrounding Russian athletes resulting in their inability to compete in Olympic competitions. Suspicious activity along its boards with Ukraine, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot out of the sky and the threat of domestic terrorism, it is incredible that the tournament is starting this week.
The British Government has issued the following 11 pointers to stay safe when in Russia for the tournament:
- Preparation – check the local government websites before you travel for up to date travel advice
- Health Insurance – the European Insurance Card (the old E111) is not valid in Russia so all travelers will need travel insurance
- Fan ID – all match ticket holders need to apply for Fan ID as their Visa for entry into Russia
- Visa – those without a match ticket need to apply for a Russian Visa to enter, and it can take some time (so hopefully you will have applied already!)
- Passport – needs to be valid and have an additional six months before expiry. Take a few copies of the ID page and the Visa/Fan ID page, and store it safely when away.
- Match Tickets – only purchase from authorised suppliers and must be linked to the Fan ID to enter the stadium
- Plan Your Journeys – Russia is massive country, so plan your travel between the host cities ensuring you have enough time
- Accommodation – when visiting a host city, you are required to register within 24 hours. Book accommodation well in advance and ensure that they have recorded you upon arrival.
- Stay Up To Date – sign up to the government website for frequent updates
- Be Sensible – be respectful of others, including law enforcement and be sensitive to others. Don’t be an anti-social twat.
- Emergency Number – 112