Upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, have passed on Monday a bill allowing foreign tourists with Fan-IDs to travel to Russia without entry visas for matches of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.
Last week, the bill was passed in the third and final reading by lawmakers from the State Duma, the parliament’s lower house, and following today’s approval by the senators, it must be signed into law by the Russian president.
“Within the period, which begins 14 days prior to the first match of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup in Saint Petersburg and ends on the day of the last match [in St. Petersburg], the entrance to Russia for foreign citizens and stateless persons, who come to Russia to watch 2020 UEFA Euro Cup matches, will not require issuance of visas based on identification documents,” according to the explanatory note.
Addressing a government’s session in mid-March, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the country planned “to employ the same mechanism we used in the past regarding the issuance and operational rules of Fan-IDs.”
Russia came up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with an innovation, which was the so-called Fan-ID and was required for all ticketholders. This innovation was successfully tested during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia and earned high marks from the world’s governing football body of FIFA.
The Fan-ID played an important security role during the major football tournament in Russia as it granted admittance to the stadiums and also served as visa for foreign visitors to enter the country.
A Fan-ID holder was allowed to enter the country without having a Russian visa and stay for the duration of the global football tournament. Fan-IDs were obligatory, in addition to purchased tickets, in order to attend matches of the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia.
2020 UEFA Euro Cup
The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup will be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg was granted the right to host three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.
The decision to hold the 2020 Euro Cup, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary that year, in various European countries instead of in one or two hosting countries was made at the UEFA Executive Committee’s meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on December 6, 2012.
A total of 24 national football teams will be playing in the final tournament of the 2020 Euro Cup. All 55 UEFA national member teams, including 12 teams from the hosting countries, will have to play in the qualifying matches to vie for the berth in the final 24-team lineup of the quadrennial European football championship.
It is possible that some of the national teams from the hosting countries of the 2020 Euro Cup will not be playing on home soil in case they fail to clear the qualifying stage.