Hello everyone, I’m back again with another article. Today we will talk about FIFA fan IDs. I’ve been getting questions about what a fan ID is where we can get it and so on. I thought that I’ll write a detailed article on this topic so you can have a comprehensive idea of what it is and what you can do with it. And at the end of this article, I have shared a picture of my actual FAN ID from FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia. Read till the end and I think you’ll like the information. Without wasting any more time let us jump om the first question.
What is a fan ID?
It is identification it’s like an ID card, like the one you use at your office there is an ID card even in schools and colleges. It’s something like that and it shows that you are a football fan and you have come to the host country to see the FIFA World Cup. It could be any match but it’s it proves that you are a Football Fan. It is there so that your experience is seamless, and no one asks you extra questions like for example “why you have come to this country?”. In Russia, the police and the administration are very strict about letting foreigners getting into restricted places so that gives you a seamless experience and it shows that you are a fan and you have come to see the World Cup to the host country that is it.
Can we watch a match without a fan ID?
No. At least this was the case in FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. So basically, it was a compulsory document for all the people who wanted to watch a match. At the stadium, you have to scan your fan ID first and then you have to scan your ticket and your face will pop up in a screen in front of you. The security personnel who is in the charge matches that face with yours and lets you in. Most of the stadiums had this screen except a few small stadiums like Kaliningrad. But the big stadiums like Luzhniki Moscow and St. Petersburg had this facility.
When can we apply for a fan ID?
You can only apply for a fan ID once you have a valid ticket. This is what happened for the FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia. Once you have a valid ticket you must go to a separate website. There you need to enter your application number from your successful ticket application. Along with that, you must enter some of your other details like address, phone number, and passport, etc. After that, the website will check that you have a ticket because you put in the application number over there. And then the database says that there is a valid ticket against the application number. Then you need to specify how you want to collect the FAN ID. Once all this is done the FIFA FAN ID is approved and generated.
How to collect a Fan ID?
How do you get the FAN ID in your hand? As I mentioned above you have to go to a separate website and then you apply for the FAN ID. There you have the option to have it delivered to our home address in India. We chose that option and it did not cost us extra money for that. Just a small tip for you over here, since FAN ID was a Russian government initiative not an initiative by FIFA, so it was delivered by Russian post. All the government posts are connected. So, the local post office had delivered the fan ID. I had put the delivery address for my friend’s FAN ID as home address because he was traveling at that moment. It was a bit difficult for us to get the fan ID for him because they were asking for IDs and whether he lived here or not. The person who was delivering the package has been in contact with us for a long time and he’s been delivering to our house for 20 years now. We told him that it is my cousin’s FAN ID and he agreed to give it to me. You may not be so lucky. So, make sure your delivery address is a place where you have your permanent address or get it delivered to the address where your parents or someone whom you have blood relation lives. The second option is the get a soft copy. Some people downloaded it online and got it printed later. I don’t know how they did that, but I saw that after entering Russia they got it printed for free from FAN ID Kiosk. There you have a choice of presenting the online FAN ID and they will print it for you. I thought that getting it delivered at home is much easier because you don’t have to pay anything and you just have the FAN ID in your hand from the time you start your trip.
FAN ID Provides Visa-Free Entry to the Host Country
The FAN ID replaced the visa. So we did not have to apply for any visa to go to Russia. Usually, the tourist visa for Russia costs approximately anywhere between 5000-10000 Roubles depending on what kind of tourist visa and for what duration you are applying. Additionally, you need an invitation letter from an authorised tour operator from Russia. With the FAN ID, we did not have to do anything, we just had our passport and our FAN ID, and we just boarded the plane. The immigration officials in India also knew about the arrangement and of course, immigration officials in Russia also knew that. It was just seamless we didn’t have to do anything we just had those two documents and we were good to go. This is one of the biggest advantages of Fan ID.
Free Transport with a FAN ID
The other advantages were that we were given many free means of transport. The first free transport that we got was from the airport to the city. It was a five hundred roubles train ticket which we got for free. Then we had free transport on the days of matches. But for that in addition to the FAN ID, we needed a valid ticket for that day’s match. We also got free train tickets for first-class trains between match cities. From St. Petersburg we had a train to Moscow because we were returning to Moscow after watching a match in St. Petersburg and similarly from Moscow to Kazan and return to Moscow. While boarding all those trains we had to flash our FAN IDs and Passport.
Just before boarding a free FIFA Special Train
Discounts and Offers
Apart from free transport many other tourist places also had extra offers for people who had Fan IDs. So that was an extra add on bonus, but I don’t remember using any of those. That is because it was mostly for buying overpriced souvenirs and other tourist traps like visiting a useless museum. For example, some of the souvenirs which cost 1000 roubles were offered on 800 Roubles if you have a FAN ID. Maybe the price is already 800 roubles and they just increased the price to 1000 roubles.
What can’t you do with a FAN ID?
Firstly, you cannot replace it with your match ticket. It’s not that you have a FAN ID and you can just walk into the stadium. It doesn’t work that way. It’s a compulsory document but you also need to have your tickets. So basically, you need both your FAN ID and your match ticket to enter the football stadium. Similarly, for availing the free transports they will ask you for the tickets as well for the valid matches and only then only you could enter the buses or trains. Secondly, it does not replace your passport. Though the backside of the FIFA Fan ID somewhat resembles the last page of your passport, you still need to have a valid passport with you to enter the host country. This is because the immigration stamps need to be on your passport and not on your FAN ID. You will just need to flash your FAN ID during the immigration instead of your visa.
Will FIFA World Cup 2022 Have FAN ID?
I always get this question. Honestly, while I am writing this article I do not know. You have to keep in mind that the Fan-ID was a Russian Government Initiative and not a FIFA initiative. Moreover, no other World Cup had fan IDs before. 2018 was the first FIFA World Cup that had fan ID so I’m just sharing my experience from what happened in Russia. Russia has set up very high standards with regards to FAN ID and Qatar have already indicated that they may follow the foot steps of Russia and use FAN ID to provide seamless experience to the football fans.
Lastly, as promised this is the picture of my FAN ID from FIFA world cup Russia. If you like the information, please let me know in the comments section. If you don’t like the content don’t hesitate to leave your constructive criticism. I also have a YouTube channel with the content on this topic. Please check them out and consider subscribing to the channel.