Next summer, the best teams in the world will come to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. One of the main sporting events will bring together hundreds of thousands of football fans from all over the world, and millions of others will be able to watch live broadcasts. Of course, many supporters from Moscow will not want to miss the matches that will take place in the city. After all, the capital will be the main World Cup host city. In order not to miss out on this unique chance and attend 2018 World Cup games, it makes sense to buy tickets in advance — ticket sales have already begun.
Note that at this point tickets can only be purchased on the FIFA website http://ru.fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/ticketing/index.html. Anyone interested should review the International Football Association rules.
What will there be to watch in Moscow?
FIFA 2018 World Cup matches will be held from 14 June through 15 July 2018 in 11 Russian cities – Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg, and Saransk. Moscow will host 12 matches, including the World Cup’s opening and closing ceremonies.
The main events will take place at Luzhniki’s Big Sports Arena, including both ceremonies and seven matches: the opening match, three group matches, the round of 16, semi-finals, and the final. Another five games will be held at Spartak Stadium: four group matches and the round of 16.
The teams that will play in Moscow will be determined on 1 December during the final draw ceremony. The teams will be divided into eight groups, four teams in each. They are to be labelled with a letter from A to H. The Russian team was classified A1 and will participate in the World Cup opening match on 14 June 2018 at Luzhniki.
Where to start?
Currently, tickets can only be purchased at the FIFA website. In the final sales phase, the “Last Minute Sales Phase,” they will also be available at FIFA ticket centre box offices in host cities. It will not be possible to buy tickets at the entrance to a stadium — the tickets will be personalised.
Those interested in attending must register on the FIFA website. The following information is required to register: full name, gender, country of residence, date of birth (at least 18), email address and then its confirmation with a special code.
After successfully registering, users will be forwarded to a page where they can apply for tickets. Again, some personal information is required, and the applicant must read the ticket sales and stadium behaviour rules.
Ticket sales began on 14 September. From this day on, football fans can apply for tickets, and, if successful, tickets will be delivered free by courier to the specified address (in April or May 2018).
During the first phase, “Sales Phase 1,” everyone applying for tickets has an equal chance, and if the number of applications for a particular game exceeds the number of tickets available, a random drawing will determine who gets tickets. Ticket sales will be divided into three phases so football fans from all over the world will have a chance to see the World Cup.
Sales Phase 1 will be divided into two periods. The first period, to submit ticket applications on the FIFA website, will end on 12 October. Applicants will have an equal chance of being picked, regardless of the date the application is filed. Thus, until 12 October, the application can be modified. If the number of applications is higher than the number of available seats, tickets will be distributed randomly based on a drawing. Those who submit application forms will be informed of their status by 16 November. The second period (in the first phase) will run from 16 November through 28 November. During this period tickets will be sold on a first come first served basis.
The second sales phase, “Sales Phase 2,” will start right after the official World Cup drawings, which will be held on 1 December. In the first period (in the second phase), 5 December through 31 January, fans will be able to purchase tickets on a random selection draw basis. In the second period (in the second phase), 13 March through 3 April 2018, tickets will be sold on a first come first served basis.
The “Last Minute Sales Phase” will be the last chance to buy tickets. It will begin 18 April and will end 15 July 2018, on the day of the final match. Tickets will be sold on a first come first served basis. By this time the host cities will have FIFA ticket sales centres.
Fans will be able not only to purchase a ticket to a specific match but a ticket series to a specific stadium, or to follow the matches of a certain team. “Flexible tickets” will also be available: official fans of a national team will be able to buy them during Sales Phase 2.
If the ticket series for the Luzhniki Big Sports Arena is chosen, purchasers will able to attend three group matches and a round of 16 match. A ticket series does not include a ticket to the opening match, the semi-final or the final. Having purchased a ticket series for Spartak Stadium, fans will be able to attend four group matches and a round of 16 match. Prices for Luzhniki range from 6,080 to 52,500 roubles, for Spartak — from 7,360 to 65,100 roubles.
Ticket series that follow the matches of a certain team will include from three to seven matches depending on what the buyer wants. These can be a ticket series to group matches or to all games up to the final, regardless of a favourite team’s progress. If the favourite team is knocked out early, the ticket series will still allow supporters to attend further matches — either of the group winner or of the best team at that playoff stage.
Ticket series purchases to follow the matches of a certain team are only possible during Sales Phase 1. If the selected team does not participate in the World Cup, FIFA will reimburse the purchase price (minus a $10 service charge).
The price for a team ticket series varies from 20,790 roubles to 203,940 roubles. Fans with disabilities can purchase the least expensive series for 4,224 roubles. If the team participates in the opening match, the ticket series will be more expensive.
Ticket pricing is based on four ticket categories. The first category includes the most expensive tickets with seats in the central sections of the stands of each stadium. The second and the third categories are all the other seats. Tickets of the fourth category are the least expensive; they are available only for Russian residents. As with the World Cups held in 2010 and 2014, residents of the host country get exclusive rights to a special category tickets. For Russians, these tickets will start at 1,280 roubles.
The right to purchase these tickets can be confirmed on a personal data page, where fans have to indicate Russian residence or citizenship and provide a passport number, address and telephone number.
Moreover, FIFA will provide Special Access tickets for disabled people. They are divided into four categories: for people in wheelchairs (W); simplified entrance standard (ES for people with disabilities, low mobility or other medical indications); simplified entrance with amenities (AM, for people with guide dogs or those who need more legroom), as well as for overweight people (OP, simplified entrance and seats with increased width). The latter are sold to those whose body mass index is 35 kilograms per square metre or more.
Fans with disabilities buying tickets in the first three types are entitled to an additional free ticket for an accompanying person to assist him/her during the match.
Documents confirming the right to a special category ticket include certificates, medical reports and references — fans will need them for the online application and at the entrance to the stadium.
Who are the buyer’s guests?
Group purchases must include the details of all participants when buying tickets. In relation to the ticket buyer, these people are considered guests. The buyer must provide his/her guests’ names, surnames, passport data, date of birth, citizenship, and country of residence when applying for a group ticket purchase.
Up to four tickets per match or up to four ticket series can be a group purchase. If the group happens to be larger, the participants must apply at the World Cup ticket centre or contact services for corporate clients.
How many tickets per person?
In addition to a four ticket group limit per person per match, there is a list of other restrictions. The organisers have to take measures to avoid reselling and to offer fans more options.
One application allows a ticket purchase for not more than seven matches, in total, 28 tickets per buyer with his/her guests (maximum four tickets per match). The only exception is for flexible tickets: one application may include a ticket series of up to eight matches.
Buyers can combine tickets to specific matches with ticket series for a certain stadium. But in any case there must not be more than 28 tickets per application. FIFA can cancel a purchase if application inconsistencies are found.
In addition, buying tickets for different matches held on the same day is not allowed. One person — a buyer or a guest — cannot purchase more than one ticket per match with more than one application.
Fans can only buy tickets of one category type per game. However, it is possible to order different tickets categories for different matches.
How to pay for and receive tickets?
After choosing a ticket, the purchaser’s credit card details will be required. The purchase price will be deducted from the account if the buyer gets the tickets after a drawing (also if the application was confirmed successfully). For this purpose, fans do not need to confirm their purchase or take any further action. Only foreign fans are required to return to the site for payment. After the payment has been made in full, FIFA will send an official booking confirmation by email.
FIFA warns that there must be sufficient funds on the account at the time of payment otherwise the application will be cancelled and the tickets will go to another buyer. Another payment option is a bank transfer, which should be made within seven days of the receipt of the booking confirmation. The payment option is chosen during the application.
After a “first come first served” sales period has started (at fifa.com/bilet) the purchase price will be withdrawn from the account immediately at the time of purchase. During the final sales phase, FIFA ticket centres will also accept cash as a payment option.
Prepaid tickets purchased during the first and second phases will be delivered for free by courier to the specified address. Deliveries will take place in April-May 2018. The recipient will have to show a passport and the card with which the payment was made. Special category buyers will also have to provide references and medical reports.
Delivery is not included for tickets purchased after 3 April, including those purchased in the “Last Minute Sales Phase” (from 18 April). In addition, there is no delivery for ticket series to the games of a certain team and for flexible tickets for any match of the round of 16, the round of 8, the semi-finals, the match for third place, or the final.
These tickets can be picked up at ticket centres in the host cities before and during the World Cup. It is recommended that buyers avoid delays and pick up tickets as early as possible before the day of the match. From 18 April this can be done by appointment without wasting time in a queue. No tickets will be issued at the stadiums.
What is the Fan ID card for?
Application submitted, tickets purchased, but that’s not all. In addition to the tickets, fans will be required to have a Fan ID card to enter a stadium.
The Fan ID card is a personal identification card to identify a spectator. This measure was introduced to provide better security for football fans and eliminate the possibility of ticket reselling. This plastic card provides certain privileges such as the right to free rides on public transit on match days and on special trains between the World Cup host cities.
In Moscow, in addition to the metro, Moscow Central Circle (MCC), local trains and some bus lines, free transport also includes the Aeroexpress airport trains. During the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup fans, volunteers and FIFA accredited personnel took advantage of free transport more than 320,000 times.
Moreover, foreign tourists will be able to use the Fan ID card to enter Russia visa-free.
Applications for and delivery of the Fan ID card are free, and can be done online or in special shops. Fans can apply for a Fan ID card only after FIFA has confirmed the application of a ticket purchase.
What is banned?
According to FIFA rules, to enter a stadium only one ticket per person is granted, regardless of age. The ticket must be retained until the end of the match, and anyone leaving the stadium during the game won’t be allowed to re-enter the stadium. In case of any violations, the ticket may be revoked.
The following actions can result in a ban on entering a stadium: alcoholic or narcotic intoxication, racist or xenophobic expressions, promotional or charity work, disturbing other people or public order.
Prohibited items include weapons, fireworks, flares, smoke flares, pyrotechnics, commercial materials or items that violate FIFA rights as well as objects that may adversely affect public safety or harm the reputation of the World Cup.
Fans can be asked to change places, within the same category, to close or remove any materials, or even to leave the stadium. People with minors that are not their own must have permission from the parents.
If a ticket holder cannot attend a game, the ticket can be returned up to 48 hours prior to match day. A 20 percent service fee will be deducted from the ticket price. If the ticket is returned within the 48 hours, the entire purchase price is non-refundable.
Under the rules, tickets cannot be resold, bought for other people (other than guests), including purchases for those who are prohibited from attending football matches. A ticket transfer to another person is only possible with special FIFA permission.