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Putin Says Fans Won't Need Visas to Attend 2018 World Cup in Russia

Fans hold up World Cup trophy replicas during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

Football aficionados will not need visas to travel to Russia before and during the 2018 World Cup that will be hosted by the country, President Vladimir Putin has said.

Entry visas will also be waived for players, team personnel and other foreign staff that are traveling to Russia for the tournament, Putin said, ITAR-Tass reported Friday.

The move is unprecedented throughout the 84-year-long history of the competition, Putin was cited as saying.

Putin will attend the final game of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Sunday, where he will take on the baton from the Brazilian organizing committee.

The 2018 tournament will be the first time that Russia has hosted the global footballing competition, with games due to be played in 12 cities across the nation, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Yekaterinburg.

The Russian national side has qualified for the World Cup finals three times in its 22-year-long history, including this year, but failed to make it out of the group stages in Brazil after recording draws against South Korea and Algeria and losing to Belgium.

See also:

Brazilian Football Legend Pele Sets Sights on 2018 World Cup in Russia

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