Confederations Cup 2017 Host Cities opened Fan ID issuing centres. This document is required to enter stadiums, and allows fans to use public transport in host cities and between them for free. It also grans foreign fans visa-free entry to Russia during the tournament.
The first time Russia used Fan ID was during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Local Organising Committee “Russia-2018” Chairman Vitaly Mutko, the experience was such a success that it was decided to continue using this document.
"In order to deal with security we, relying on our Olympic experience in Sochi, have decided to introduce Fan-ID. It’s a technologically difficult task, which fell on the shoulders of the Communications Ministry," Mutko said.Starting November 8, fans were able to register on the website and leave an application there. To this moment more than 10,000 have applied for Fan ID.
This figure can be confusing – why so few people? The thing is that in order to apply for Fan ID a person needs to have a Confederations Cup match ticket. Visa card holders were the first to get the opportunity to purchase tickets during the pre-sale. Then came the first phase of ticket sales. Since it is often the case when there are more people than tickets available, organisers chose to hold a lottery which determines who gets to go to the stadium and who will watch the match on TV.
In early December, 2016 the cities which are going to host the Confederations Cup opened their first Fan ID Centres. One per city for now, but their number will increase in the future.
"We plan to issue Fan ID in airports, train stations and stadiums," said Local Organising Committee “Russia-2018” General Director Alexei Sorokin. "We are counting on people to evenly receive their Fan ID without overcrowding any one place. This is why we recommend to already start registering and applying. However, the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media assured us that the number of issuing centres will grow."
Moscow’s first issuing centre is located near the Paveletskaya train station, on the first floor of a business centre on Letnikovskaya street 10, building 4, It has a terminal which can switch to five different languages and an electronic queue. The centre might have reminded visitors of a big bank if not for the football-themed decorations and sports trophies lining one of the walls.
There are about 50 employees working at the centre. 34 desks process visitors, 18 of which register and photograph (Fan ID pictures are made on the spot) applicants, and the others process and issue Fan ID.
On February 1, Vitaly Mutko and Alexei Sorokin took part in issuing Moscow’s first Fan ID along with Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov, Russian national team’s former coach Roman Shirokov, Rostov-on-Don’s Ambassador for the 2018 World Cup Victoria Lopyreva, 2018 FIFA World Cup Ambassador Sergey Belogolovtsev and sports commentator Vladimir Stognienko, who led the ceremony. A teleconference was also set up during the event.
To issue Saint Petersburg’s first Fan ID authorities invited Mariinsky Theatre soloist and Saint Petersburg’s Ambassador Vasily Gerello and FC Zenit’s former goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev. In Kazan, Fan ID were issued by Kazan Ambassador and actress Ekaterina Skulkina and Sochi invited Slava Metreveli, a famous footballer.
In his speech, Vitaly Mutko reminded everyone of comfort and security of the upcoming tournament in Russia and shared his plans on how fans will be received. "I want to congratulate everyone with yet another step, a very important one. This card will allow visitors to comfortably enter stadiums. Fan ID means free transportation in the Confederations Cup Host Cities as well as between those cities. It is also an opportunity to enter the country visa-free. We hope that over 700,000 people will come to the Confederations Cup. And 3.5 million people to the World Cup."
The hero of the day and the first person to receive his Fan ID in Moscow was Ruslan Isaev.
The main question everyone was asking was how will foreigners receive their Fan ID? "Russian Post – the best post in the world - will be delivering Fan ID," deputy PM said. "We will also be sending them in electronic form, which will later be exchanged for a physical card. Issuing centres will open in airports and stadiums."
During his meeting with journalists, the Organising Committee Chairman stressed the importance of security. "We already have a security concept approved by the president," he reminded. "Our law enforcement agencies have extensive experience in securing major sports events such as the Olympic Games, the Universiade, various world championships, the Champions League final. I am sure that this experience will help to create a comfortable safe environment. The essence of the procedure is to carry out all of the checks beforehand, to minimize the complexity of a fan’s physical entry onto the stadium. All personal data will be effectively protected."
Communications Minister Nikiforov assured that it is impossible to forge Fan ID. "Scanning or copying Fan ID and then showing it at the stadium will not work," he said. "This card contains a special chip which provides access to the database and identifies the card-holder. We have invaluable experience gained during the Sochi Olympics," he said. "It was then that we used preliminary identification for the first time and we already know all the subtleties of the organisation process. Our country is a pioneer of this system. It has never been previously used in any other country."
Despite the complexity of this card, it won’t be hard to restore Fan ID in case of loss. The card-holder must come to an issuing centre, write an application. The lost card will be blocked and a new one will be issued immediately.
But we’re jumping ahead of ourselves. Fans just began receiving their cards.
The issuing process takes up an unusually small amount of time. According to employees of one of the centres, the bulk of the time is spent on processing an application – it currently can take up to 72 hours to receive a text or an email notifying that your application has been approved. "However, in peak moments we expect in June, this amount of time can shrink to three minutes," the employees promised.
The issuing procedure itself takes no more than ten minutes in the centres – five minutes to register and have your photo taken, a minute and a half to process and issue – a quick and convenient procedure.
"There wasn’t anything complicated," said Ivan Markov, one of the owners of tickets to all Confederations Cup 2017 matches in Moscow. "I left an application for the tickets and saw a link to Fan ID on the same webpage. So I registered, sent in an application with my passport details and the order number and that same evening I received confirmation. And it took me five minutes to get my card at an issuing centre."
Getting your Fan ID
To apply for Fan ID, you will need the number of your Confederations Cup 2017 match ticket or the order number if it contains more than one ticket. You will be able to use this number several times depending on the number of bought match tickets.
After sending in your application you will receive a text message or an email confirming your application has been received. It takes up to 72 hours to process an application. Afterwards, you will be notified that your Fan ID application was approved.
If you need to re-register and change an already issued application, you will need to wait for the notification of approval and only then register for the second time. This applies only to cases where fans need to correct a mistake made in names or dates of birth. All other information can only be corrected in issuing centres while receiving Fan ID.
The registration process in an issuing centre only take a couple of minutes. Your identity as well as your ticket number (or order number) will be verified and you will be photographed. You will need to have with you your passport or other document proving your ID (children younger than 14 may have birth certificates as their identification) and either your ticket or a form with the order number.Centre locations:
- Moscow, Letnikovskaya street 10, bld.4
- Saint Petersburg, Liteyniy prospekt 26 bld, Preobrazhensky Dvor Business Centre, 2nd floor
- Kazan, Baumana street 44/8, Rodina Mall
- Sochi, Novaya Zarya street 7, More Mall