Fan IDs make World Cup the perfect chance to explore Russia

The Fan ID will also be a multiple entry visa to Russia, and offer free rail travel

If you’re still tempted to follow your team to the World Cup this summer, the advent of Fan IDs could be the thing that makes your mind up.

Once you’ve applied for tickets to the game or games you’d like to see, you will also need, along with your ticket, a Fan ID to gain entrance to the stadium. It’ll display your name and your photo, as well as a code linked to your ticket. This aims to stop touting of World Cup tickets.

The extras are where your Fan ID really pays off though. First of all, it’s free. Secondly, it operates in lieu of a visa, which normally involves an expensive, time-consuming process to obtain. Also, brilliantly, it’s not a one-off visa, it’s a multiple entry deal; as long as you arrive between 4 June and 15 July and leave between 4 June and 25 July, you can come and go as you please.

Fan IDs were introduced for the Confederations Cup, and were a resounding success – protoper / Shutterstock
Fan IDs were introduced for the Confederations Cup, and were a resounding success – protoper / Shutterstock

Possession of a Fan ID also means you can travel to the stadia for free on match days using public transport, and what’s more – and this is probably the biggest benefit – you can book yourself onto the extra trains that will be laid on for fans travelling between host cities completely free of charge.

So with no visa needed, almost two months to play with, and free transport between some of Russia’s biggest cities, this is a chance to explore an amazing country; a chance that has never existed with such ease and openness before.

So how do you go about getting one of these Fan IDs?  First you need to buy your World Cup match tickets. You don’t need to have them physically on you, but you’ll need a purchasing code so as to connect it to your ID.

Then visit the official Fan ID application website and follow the steps. You need to give passport information, a photo of yourself, and stuff like your date of birth, full name, citizenship and postal address.

The whole approval process should take less than 72 hours – just make sure you get it posted to you rather than selecting the option of picking it up in Russia! Either way, postal delivery abroad can take up to a month, so if you’re going to do it, the sooner the better.

Like I said before, this is the only time in the foreseeable future that this opportunity will be available. Fan IDs were trialled at the recent Confederations Cup and was a resounding success. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be this time. Why not take advantage?