The mayor of Kaliningrad, a host city for the 2018 World Cup, is urging residents to clean up their yards, avoid fights, and leave city before matches are held there, the Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.
Leaving Kaliningrad is voluntary, but strongly encouraged, since city roads will be congested and almost entirely limited to official transport during the competition, mayor Alexander Yaroshuk said in an interview to a local radio station.
“One of the four games that take place in Kaliningrad will surely feature a top European team,” Yaroshuk said. “The city will receive 70,000 to 100,000 tourists.”
“Of course, all of them will not be able to get in the stadium, so residents should clean up in their yards. Even better, they should plan to leave the city and relax in the countryside,” Yaroshuk said.
Residents who remain are asked to help foreign visitors and avoid fights with the large groups of fans watching the games in bars.
“I call on all [residents] to be hospitable, kind, and not to hit anyone,” Yaroshuk said. “If you speak English, help tourists, give them advice and converse with them.”
City officials are now conducting talks with local employers to give Kaliningrad residents time off from work during match days.
Kaliningrad will host its first 2018 World Cup match on 25 June 2018 at the Kaliningrad Stadium, which is projected to accommodate up to 35,000 spectators.