The 2018 World Cup in Russia has rarely looked like it will be a traditional celebration of soccer, and it looks less so today.
The BBC is reporting that Russia will require fans hold ID cards in order to attend matches, a measure the country hopes stops ill-intentioned people from causing problems at the games.
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The measure will be in place for this summer’s Confederations Cup as well, and the cards will double as a visa to enter Russia. From the BBC:
“What we can be sure of is that this will be a festival of football and there is no place in such festivals of football for those that are not here to support the sport or support the game,” said Colin Smith, director of competitions for football’s governing body Fifa, on a visit to the country on Thursday.
Right. This tournament looks set to be strewn with controversy off the field. Let’s hope the on-the-field is spared.