Manchester united russian visa deal is agreed

Manchester United Russian Visa Deal is Agreed

The Russian authorities have announced that fans of Manchester United and Chelsea will be allowed to enter Moscow without a visa to watch their teams play in the Uefa European Cup final. Fans will be able to escape Russia’s notoriously strict visa restrictions by simply presenting a valid match ticket on arrival.

The 42,000 football fans that are estimated to have tickets for the Moscow match will welcome the Russian authorities’ announcement, particularly as there were fears that Britain’s ongoing political tension with Russia would hamper attempts to secure a ‘visa-free’ deal. The visa-free decision will also take pressure off the overworked staff at the Russian Embassy, who have been working non-stop to try and issue visas to the thousands of football fans in time for the final, which takes place on the 21st May.

The visa-free deal proposed by the Russian authorities will allow Manchester United and Chelsea fans to use their match tickets as a visa substitute for a 72-hour period between 19 and 23 May. In addition to their valid match ticket, the football fans will also need to present their passports and a completed immigration form to the authorities when they arrive on Russian soil. Those who overstay the 72-hour visa-free entry period will be forced to pay the regular visa fee of around ?150 — ?200 on his or her departure.

The Russian visa announcement comes after a series of discussions between Michel Platini, President of Uefa (http://www.uefa.com/), and the Russian government. Mr Platini said that the Russian visa concession was “exceptional and unprecedented” and a “historical decision.” He also exclaimed that the long-awaited announcement was “great news.” He said: “This is great news for football fans travelling to watch this year’s Uefa Champions League final in Moscow. Our job is to make sure that they are able to get to and from Moscow as easily as possible. I am therefore extremely pleased that at my request, all fans travelling with a valid match ticket can use this to enter Russian territory.” Mr Platini also thanked Russia for their co-operation. He said: “I must thank wholeheartedly the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, the Russian government, the city of Moscow and the Football Union of Russia.”

The decision has obviously reduced demand for visas, so the Manchester United and Chelsea fans that are hoping to travel to Russia independently and buy a match ticket in Moscow should have their visas processed in time. However, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office are advising supporters in this situation not to travel to Moscow “if they do not have a ticket or accommodation beforehand.”

Source:

Independent

Guardian

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