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Russia to offer free visas for 2018 World Cup

Dmitry Yudin, the Counsellor (Political) at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Phnom Penh, addresses a press conference at the embassy today.
Dmitry Yudin, the Counsellor (Political) at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Phnom Penh, addresses a press conference at the embassy today. Sreng Meng Srun

Russia to offer free visas for 2018 World Cup

In tune with Russia’s intensive drive to promote the June 14 to July 15 FIFA World Cup, Dmitry Yudin, the Counsellor (Political) at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Phnom Penh, today called on Cambodian football fans to experience the passion of the greatest show on earth by utilising a range of hospitality packages being offered for visitors.

Yudin’s promotional pitch echoed the sentiments expressed recently by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko that efforts would be stepped up to attract a worldwide audience to showcase the country as hospitable, safe and rich in tradition and culture.

“We offer visa-free entry, free transport between cities and in cities, and a wide range of other facilities for fans to visit and enjoy the unique experience of witnessing the 32 of the best teams play in the World Cup, which is watched by an estimated audience that exceeds even the Olympics” Yudin told a press conference at the Embassy today.

Laying out in detail the process of obtaining tickets and visa applications, Yudin spelt out the ways and means with which anyone keen on visiting Russia for either the World Cup or during its period as a tourist will get preferential treatment in the issuing of free visas and hotel accommodation.

“We are introducing a Fan Card, where a ticket holder will be registered and issued with an ID that will enable the holder of the ticket to access free public transport within the city or from one city to another.

“Even our national carrier Aeroflot is offering free passage through some select packages,’’ he said

“Football is very popular in Cambodia and I encourage fans to take this opportunity. We are here to make the travel easy for you. Once you apply for the ticket and get hold of it, the rest of the process will be simple and easy,” Yudin assured the Kingdom’s football fans.

The Embassy indicated that fairs and cultural shows will be held in all hosting cities for the benefit of visiting fans, and there are also promotional events planned around many other major cities in the world even as the World Cup tour winds up in Moscow a month before the start of the tournament.

Hosts Russia open against Saudi Arabia in Group A on June 14.

Zabivaka, ‘the one who scores’

Fan registration for particular countries is also on offer. But it is conditional upon the person holding the same nationality as the country they support and is a visitor to Russia. There is also a random draw for tickets among all applicants who apply before the deadline.

During a presentation on Russia in general and the iconic venues for the World Cup, attention was also drawn on the official Mascot for FIFA World Cup Russia: Zabivaka.

Yudin explained that the wolf mascot’s name “Zabivaka” means “the one who scores” in Russian.

He said the mascot will play an important role in promoting the event and entertain crowds at the stadiums.

The 11 World Cup host cities across the European part of the largest country on earth are Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekatarinburg and Samara.

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