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If you buy a ticket for a match of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, you get a Fan ID and can use it to enjoy visa-free travel to Russia. Do you have to attend the match as a condition?

I am not a football fan (sorry) but I am tempted to buy a last-minute ticket and use it for a quick Russian tour without going to the stadium. Is this acceptable to the Russian immigration authorities? One obvious downside is losing $210 (or whatever is the cost of the ticket).

I have seen this question, although the titles are similar that question has a different situation.

  • Would just getting a visa not be cheaper? – Richard May 11 '18 at 9:56
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    There's quite some paperwork and time involved with that. Plus FAN-ID also has other smaller benefits, like free transport. So that $210 wont be a complete loss. – Hanky Panky May 11 '18 at 10:04
  • Are there geographic limitations on the Fan ID? My only venture into Russia on a work visa a long time ago effectively restricted me to one city – Peter M May 11 '18 at 11:07
  • I don’t see them listed but I expect there may be some so I will still visit only the cities which are hosting matches. – Hanky Panky May 11 '18 at 11:51
  • Seemingly you need a match ticket in order to use the free travel on trains option (fan-id.ru/help.html - 21. If you are traveling on a free train to another city for a match, take your passport, FAN ID in laminated form and match ticket with you – without them you will not be able to board the train.) but it doesn't seem to say anywhere that a ticket is explicitly required in order to use a Fan ID and gain visa-free entry to Russia. It seems that the Fan ID and ticket are treated as separate entities and so actually attending the match doesn't seem to be a requirement. – MrAndySweet May 11 '18 at 13:07
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Fan-ID website has exerpts from the relevant laws:

FAN ID is a document for sporting event spectators issued by a federal...

Spectators of sporting events are defined as persons possessing an entrance ticket for a match or a document in a form set forth by the government of the Russian Federation that entitles them to obtain an entrance ticket for a match.

I checked the law itself (in Russian): it does indeed say that. So technically whether or not you actually attend a match has no bearing on your legal status as a spectator.

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