SWC restrictions weigh heavy on ordinary Russians
Russia banned (Getty Images)
Moscow - Keen to prevent a repeat of ugly
scenes from previous tournaments, authorities in Russia have imposed draconian
measures during the 2018 Soccer World Cup, cracking down on everything from alcohol to
Here are some of the new restrictions that
affect Russians as well as international fans during the tournament, which runs
from June 14 to July 15.
Sale of alcohol
On matchdays and the day before, the sale
of alcoholic drinks and all drinks in glass bottles will be banned in fan
zones, around stadiums and in other busy locations such as parks and railway
stations in host cities.
The authorities also intend to revive the
Soviet institution of drunk tanks, run by the police, where drunk fans will be
taken to sober up.
Registering with police
Both foreigners and Russians who travel to
one of the World Cup host cities will have to register with police within 3
days of arrival, displaying proof of identity and showing they have
Previously, Russians were only supposed to
register with police if they stayed in another city for more than 90 days. In
any case, these rules had rarely been implemented in recent years.
Foreigners who travel to several of the 11
host cities and stay in each for more than 3 days will have to register
While hotels will organise registration,
this is more complex for those renting private flats with the owner expected to
register them. Some journalists covering the World Cup have already had
problems after failing to register in time on arrival.
Crackdown on protests
A decree signed by President Vladimir Putin
drastically curtails the rights of Russians to hold protests during the World
Public events unconnected to sport can only
be held in certain places and at times approved by the authorities. For example,
in the city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals, demonstrations must not involve more
than 100 people and can only be held between 2 and 4 pm.
Music festivals planned for this summer in
Russia have also had to move their dates to after the World Cup.
While prices for hotel rooms and rented
flats have soared, the authorities have also decided to squeeze out organised
tours, which are particularly popular with Russians.
Coaches of sightseers will be banned from
entering host cities and pleasure boats will not be allowed to sail on their
The authorities have identified 41
locations over which all of types of flights will be banned during the World
Cup, while the use of drones is banned in a 100-kilometre radius around the
host cities. A special army squadron will be deployed to set up electronic
jamming around stadiums.
In Moscow, known for its snarled traffic,
as well as in other big cities, some streets in the centre and near stadiums
will be closed, risking further jams.
The mayor of Kaliningrad, one of the host
cities, has even urged residents to leave the city and have a relaxing break in
the countryside during the matches.
Already hit by sanctions banning European
meat and other foods, Russians will now find it harder to fire up barbecues to
grill their beloved kebabs (known as shashlik).
Due to forest fires that have spread over
large areas this summer, particularly in Siberia, the authorities have ordered
tougher restrictions on lighting fires outdoors during the World Cup.
The rules to be implemented by the host
cities call for bans on campfires, setting fire to grass and cooking meat al
fresco in areas that lack special facilities.