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Putin gives World Cup fans visa-free entry into Russia all year

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 16/07/2018
In this March 18, 2018 photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to supporters during a rally near the Kremlin in Moscow.  The tempest over President Donald Trump's congratulatory phone call to Russia's Vladimir Putin is quickly evolving into an uproar over a White House leak about the call. The leak has sparked an internal investigation and speculation over who might be the next person forced out of the West Wing. The White House says in a statement it would be a "fireable offense and likely illegal" to leak Trump's briefing papers to the press.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © AP In this March 18, 2018 photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to supporters during a rally near the Kremlin in Moscow. The tempest over President Donald Trump's congratulatory phone call to Russia's Vladimir Putin is quickly evolving into an uproar over a White House leak about the call. The leak has sparked an internal investigation and speculation over who might be the next person forced out of the West Wing. The White House says in a statement it would be a "fireable offense and likely illegal" to leak Trump's briefing papers to the press.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russia will extend its visa-free travel regime for foreign soccer fans until the end of 2018, President Vladimir Putin said after the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

Russia allowed soccer fans to travel to Russia without visas to attend the World Cup once they obtained fan IDs that were issued to supporters with match tickets.

“I think we will do the following: for foreign fans who currently have fan IDs, we will give them multi-entry visa-free travel until the end of the year,” Putin told reporters.

Putin said Russia could be “proud” of its hosting of the football World Cup, judging it a success “in every respect” after final.

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“We can surely be proud of how we organised this tournament,” Putin said in televised comments after France’s victory against Croatia yesterday.

“We have made this grand event a success in every respect,” he added.

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“We have done it for our supporters, for Russians who are passionate about sport and for all those who love sport across the world.” Putin thanked the foreign fans who came to Russia for the tournament.

Before it started a month ago, there had been concerns due to the memory of violence between Russian and English fans during the Euro 2016 tournament in France.

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Fans at this World Cup however “showed that sport and football can manage not to divide people and not lead to fights and disputes, but unite people on the basis of common values,” Putin said.

“People tried to scare us by saying the English would come and commit hooliganism... But everyone behaved in a most exemplary manner.”

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