Finishing touches: What to do before and during the World Cup

Finishing touches: What to do before and during the World Cup
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
Along with the entire country, is looking forward to the 2018 FIFA World Cup: FAN IDs, tickets, Fan Festival and many other useful World Cup things.

It seems that the first phase of World Cup ticket sale just started, and now there is less than two weeks before the tournament begins. presents an article on what is important to remember and to do as well as useful tips for fans.

Catching the last football train

If you thought that all the tickets had been sold and there is no way to go to the big football championship, you would be wrong. The last sale phase started on 18 April and will last through the end of the championship (15 July).

Tickets can be purchased onlineApplications will be processed during the entire sale phase.

See if there are any tickets available:Colour indicators (red, yellow or green) show how many tickets are available at a given moment.

Tickets that are not available when you look might become available later due to the fact that certain tickets are sold via a special platform, and that unsold quotas for various client categories are returned to FIFA.

In addition, tickets (if available) can be bought at the main FIFA ticket centres.

Tickets in the last sales phase can be received at the host cities’ official ticket centres. In Moscow, the centre is located at the main FIFA ticket centre, 4 Zhitnaya Street. Tickets bought during earlier phases are delivered by courier.

Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee


Only people with FAN IDs can attend a World Cup match. The FAN ID card is fan identification necessary to enter a stadium. Everyone with a ticket must have one.

A FAN ID card can be issued only after FIFA approves the application to buy a ticket. This document gives the right to go to matches as well as several other bonuses, such as free transport between host cities and city public transport (buses, trolleys, trams and metro) as well as suburban trains and Aeroexpress trains on match days. It is important to remember that free rides are only available upon providing a FAN ID card and a ticket to the match. In addition, it is possible to go on a free city tour with a FAN ID. Information about tours will be available on the national Russia Travel website.

Moscow football fans can receive a FAN ID card at three issuing centres as well as at several My Documents centres: the flagship office at 2 Presnenskaya Embankment (ground floor, Afimall City), in Zamoskvorechye District (13 Bakhrushina Street), near Begovaya (33 Pravdy Street) and in Moskovsky village (21, 3rd microdistrict). If visitors only need to collect the FAN ID card, they will have to present a personal identity document. If they want to have a FAN ID issued, they will also need a photo in electronic format that can be taken at the centre.

Going to the stadium

With a ticket and a FAN ID card in hand, it’s time to go see a match. Decide what items are worth taking to the stadium and what’s better to leave at home. For example, the organisers advice against bringing large bags, food, drinks, umbrellas that are more than 25 centimetres long and selfie sticks. People with these objects will probably be asked to leave them in the storage room that will take some time.

Of course, all weapons, aerosols, sporting gear, extremist materials and many substances are prohibited at the stadiums. The full list is available here

Fans can carry a poster or organise a performance at the arena but only after filling in the corresponding applications and receiving permission.

It is better to come in advance due to the tightened security and large crowds. Sponsors and partners always hold various events for fans ahead of the match, so there will be no reason to be bored. There will also be points where fans can buy food and drinks, including beer.

Special transport access maps issued for the World Cup (100,000 copies) will help you get to the stadium. These include the easiest routes to the arenas and back, as well as a map with tourist sights. They are available at the Live Information desks in the metro.

A booklet on Moscow transport (500,000 copies) has also been issued for the World Cup. It includes information on all types of transport in Moscow. The booklets are available at the Live Information desks in the metro, aboard Aeroexpress trains, at airports, railway and bus stations, all Mosgrotrans ticket offices, suburban railway ticket offices, My Documents flagship centres and tourist information offices.

Both the map and the booklet are available in six languages: Russian, English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese.

Taking pictures with the World Cup trophy

The trophy, which only a month and a half from now will be hoisted in the air by the World Cup winners at Luzhniki Stadium watched by a billion spectators on television, can be seen in a pavilion on Pushkinskaya Embankment in Gorky Park until 7 June. People can take pictures with it. There will also be an entertainment programme to catch the right mood before the event.

The FIFA trophy tour took place between September 2017 and June 2018. It kicked off on 9 September at Luzhiniki Stadium, and on 3 June the trophy was returned to Moscow. It visited 50 countries and 24 Russian cities.

Getting to know foreign fans

As you know, 32 teams will take part in the World Cup. They are divided into eight groups. Russia is in Group A as the host, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay. Moscow will host 12 matches: seven at Luzhniki and five at Spartak Stadium. The full schedule is available on the FIFA website.

Several training bases are located in the Moscow Region.

Russia’s team will be training in Novogorsk, Portugal’s national team at FC Saturn’s base in Ramenki, France’s team in the Istra District, and Argentina’s team in the town of Bronnitsy. The current World Cup champion, Germany, will stay in Moscow: German footballers are training at FC CSKA’s base in Vatutinki (the village of Desyonovskoye). Each team will decide how to communicate with fans on their own, so not everyone will be able to see Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Over 1.6 million tickets had been sold by the time the final sale phase began. Most of them were purchased by Russian fans (almost 800,000), followed by the US (80,161), Brazil (65,863), Colombia (60,199), Germany (55,136), Mexico (51,736), Argentina (44,882), Peru (38,544), China (36,841), Australia (34,628) and Great Britain (30,711). Some guests will be especially active. For example, Mexican fans will gather in the Izmailovo Kremlin during the championship (US citizens of Mexican origin are expected to join them). Free samples of national dishes and drinks, such as nachos with guacamole, original tacos and burritos, will be offered daily. A Mexican television channel will be broadcasting there non-stop starting 15 June.

FIFA Fan Festival

It is impossible to attend all the matches, but watching them with 25,000 fellow fans can be fun: for this, it is necessary to visit the FIFA Fan Festival held on Vorobyovy Gory.

Almost all the matches, except several third-tour matches that will be held at the same time, will be shown there: 56 matches on June 14 – July 15 total. The venue will open three hours before the first match of the day and close an hour after the end of the last one. Admission on match days will be free.

A concert programme has been prepared for festival-goers between matches. A stage with a 144-square-metre screen (16x9) and six additional screens (8x4) have been installed. There is also a food court, sponsors’ zones, children’s playgrounds, a souvenir shop, a FIFA stand and offices for security, volunteers and first aid. A special area will be organised for people with disabilities.

The best way to get to the venue is on foot from the closest metro stations (Universitet, Lomonosovsky Prospekt and Vorobyovy Gory) as well as on special shuttle buses from Kiyevskaya metro station.

What else to do

There will be nine parks with football amusements: on Poklonnaya Gora, next to the main entrance to VDNKh National Exhibition Centre, on Kuznetsky Most Street behind the TSUM department store, in Zaryadye Park, near the main entrance to Gorky Park, on Krymskaya Embankment, Revolution Square, Arbat Street and Tverskaya Square.

Fans can also use Going to the Match walking routes developed by the Get to Know Moscow project for the Confederations Cup.

The fan city map not only has information on the stadiums but also on the main sights: museums, estates and parks. In addition, a special guidebook has been issued for the World Cup, with information on the Fan Festival, Moscow World Cup events and tour options. The guidebook comes in six languages: Russian, English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish. They are available at tourist information offices, at hotels or from volunteers, who can be found on the main pedestrian streets.

There will also be a World Cup loyalty programme. People with FAN ID cards will receive a 10 percent discount in cafes and restaurants in Gorky Park and Muzeon on match days, as well as at the cafes located in the Nature Embassy (Zapovednoye Posolstvo) and Mediacentre pavilions in Zaryadye Park.

It’s time to get in the mood, for example, by watching a light show on the façade of the Manezh Exhibition Hall, which shows a projection display of football pitches, players, goals and landscape scenes. The show runs daily from 9.30 pm to 11 pm, until 10 June. In addition, an exhibition on Russian and Soviet football since the establishment of the first national team in 1911 has opened at VDNKh.