russia ready to introduce visa-free regime

Aug 18, 2010

In a meeting today, August 17, 2010, with the FIFA Inspection Delegation, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reiterated his country’s commitment to host the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup and said that Russia was ready to introduce a visa-free regime for fans attending World Cup matches.

This was one of the key messages Russia’s head of government, Vladimir Putin, transmitted to
the FIFA Inspection Delegation during their visit at Novo Ogarevo, the Prime Minister’s
residence outside Moscow. Putin and the delegation headed by Harold Mayne-Nicholls of Chile
touched upon a variety of World Cup-related topics during the meeting, which lasted for more
than one hour.

According to News agence ITAR-TASS Putin said: “We are ready to give additional governmental
guarantees regarding the visa-free regime for participants and guests of the World Cup and the
travelling of the foresaid categories of people between the cities, where World Cup matches
will be held,” he underlined.

Putin pledged to the FIFA officials that if Russia were granted the right to host the World Cup in
2018 all necessary football facilities would be built “timely, at the highest level and meeting
your requirements.”

“We will reconstruct and build all the same major facilities, which should be used for the World
Cup, regardless of the fact, whether or not we are granted the right to host the World Cup,”
Putin stated.

“There is much to be done, but it is good from the FIFA point of view,” the Russian premier
noted. “I refer to the football development in this part of the world, including Russia,” he
elaborated. “Certainly, we need your permanent assistance and support, consultative and
friendly, as well as common work, as we are doing with the International Olympic Committee
during preparations to the Sochi Olympics-2014,” the premier addressed to the FIFA officials.
The prime minister also pledged that necessary funds for the development of infrastructure
and construction of sports facilities will be envisaged in the budget and private investments will
be attracted either.

He recalled that the World Cup could be held at 16 stadiums in 13 cities, which would be
divided into four clusters. “The stadiums in Moscow are already under reconstruction, you have
already seen the stadium reconstruction in St. Petersburg,” the premier noted. The FIFA
Inspection Commission will also examine the infrastructure in Kazan and Sochi, where matches
are also planned, Putin noted. The prime minister briefed the FIFA officials on the major work,
which is being done as preparations to the Sochi Olympics. “The infrastructure is being
developed actively there, major sports facilities are under construction, major sporting arenas
are under construction right on the Black Sea coast, where football matches can be held,” he
pointed out.

Putin expressed confidence that Russia would be able to hold the World Cup “at the highest
organizational level.” “I hope that you will be interested to study our capabilities, and I believe
that you will have an interesting trip,” the prime minister told chief of the FIFA Inspection
Commission Harold Mayne-Nicholls.

The World Cup would be a great event for Russia, the prime minister said. “About six million
people play football in Russia, and there are much more football fans, therefore we decided to
make a bid to host the World Cup in 2018,” he remarked. “Meanwhile, the World Cup in all
other countries and in Russia to a higher degree will contribute to the infrastructure development of sports in general and football in particular,” Putin hopes. “This meets fully the
FIFA philosophy when taking such decisions, World Cups have not been held in Eastern Europe
at all,” he underlined. “This event would be particularly important for this part of the world,”
Putin believes.

Russia Bid Committee