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Russia tightens security ahead of FIFA Confed Cup

IANS logoIANS 06-06-2017

"The basic burden will be borne by the garrisons of the cities that will host the matches. Apart from that, we are involving police units from other Russian regions," Tass news agency quoted Anton Gusev, First Deputy Head of the Interior Ministry's Department for Security Provision at Large International and Mass Sports Events, as saying at a press conference here.

"Special attention will be paid to protecting transport hubs -- airports, terminals and other transport facilities," he added.

Deputy head of department of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) Aleksey Lavrishchev said border crossing procedures have been tightened in Russia ahead of the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Football Cup, reports Tass.

"We have tightened filtration procedures on the border. Security services have blocked entry for a large number of foreign nationals and stateless persons who might be connected with a terrorist threat," Lavrishchev told the news conference.

"We see no threats to security. Currently, no direct security threats for the guests of the World Cup have been detected," he said.

"As international experience shows, terrorist threat is viewed as a key one during holding major international events," Lavrischev said.

Russia is implementing a range of measures aimed at neutralizing potential threats. "The goal is to reduce risks, first of all terrorist threats. The result of these events is neutralization of members of clandestine terrorist cells," he said.

The so-called 'Fan-IDs', required for attending matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, are impossible to forge, a senior official with the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media said on Tuesday.

"The fan-identification system was widely used at the (2014) Olympic Games and yielded positive results just like the Games on the whole," Andrei Romankov, the director of the ministry's strategic projects department, said speaking at a news conference.

"This system will be used for the first time ever during football competitions. It (the system) was upgraded and made to be more effective."

Romankov said that with the use of Fan-ID, all foreign guests will be able to enter the country without visas and the document can be used for free-of-charge travels between the hosting cities as well as on public transportation within a particular city.

The FIFA Confederations Cup, dubbed the 'Tournament of Champions', is also viewed by experts as just a rehearsal, with only one year to go to the FIFA World Cup.

This year's tournament will be held at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.

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