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President Putin Gives World Cup Fans Visa-free Entry Into Russia All Year

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Russia will extend its visa-free travel regime for foreign football fans until the end of 2018, President Vladimir Putin said after the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on Sunday, said foreign visitors holding “fan ID” cards for the 2018 FIFA World Cup could have visa-free entry to Russia for the rest of 2018.

The fan IDs which permitted ticket-holders to enter Russia during the World Cup had initially been due to expire on July 25.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin holds the FIFA World Cup Trophy (Photo: Getty Images)

President Putin said, “Foreign supporters who currently have fan IDs will be able to benefit from multiple entries into the Russian Federation without a visa until the end of the year.”

Despite high diplomatic tension between Moscow and the West, world football officials and personalities as well as world leaders have lined up to praise Russia’s hosting of the tournament.

Russian leaders revelled in Sunday night’s dramatic match after French players lifted the trophy.

The game was watched by Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

Putin said he had congratulated both leaders. “A score of 4-2 in a final, I can’t remember seeing a score like that and few people could. Both teams were magnificent…I am sure everyone liked the way they played, and so did I.”

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Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Instagram: “A marvellous final! France are champions. Russia has organised the best World Cup.”

The Russian foreign ministry congratulated France for its victory in an official tweet. “Congratulations to the @FrenchTeam for their second title and thank you for this feast of football!,” it wrote

Putin also said Russia could be “proud” of its hosting of the football World Cup, judging it a success “in every respect” after Sunday’s final.

Putin also thanked the foreign fans who came to Russia for the tournament.

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