World Cup ′fans′ enter EU illegally from Russia - report | News | DW | 22.06.2018
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World Cup 'fans' enter EU illegally from Russia - report

A number of migrants from Asia and Africa have taken advantage of the World Cup in Russia to try and reach the EU. Several have made it across to Finland, according to a German media report.

Border authorities in a number of countries say that looser visa regulations in Russia for the World Cup have made it possible for several people to enter the European Union illegally, or to attempt to do so, over the Russian borders.

Since the championship began a week ago, five people have entered Finland illegally from Russia, equipped only with the so-called Fan ID issued upon the purchase of a World Cup ticket by a non-Russian national, German news magazine Spiegel Online said on Thursday.

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Legal ways for immigration

The report cited Finnish authorities as saying three Moroccans, a Nigerian and a Chinese citizen had applied for asylum. They said the Moroccans had crossed the border by land, while the Chinese man had flown to the Finnish capital, Helsinki, from Russia.

The Fan ID enables people wanting to attend the World Cup to enter Russia without a visa and to stay on for a maximum of 10 days after the tournament ends on July 15.

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A Fan ID with a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin on it (picture-alliance/TASS/M.l Metzel)

The Fan ID gives visa-free entry to Russia and some free transport services to fans


Prevented crossings

Spiegel Online said that Russian police had reported preventing several other instances of illegal border-crossing, including four Moroccans who were arrested near the Norwegian border.

The four men were expelled from the country after paying a fine of 2,000 rubles (€27, $31.60).

Belarusian authorities also arrested four Moroccans with Fan IDs who were trying to cross into Poland, the report said. Entering Belarus from Russia is made easy by a general lack of checks on the border.

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