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World Cup and the Fan Fest

World Cup and the Fan Fest

One of the most exciting sport tournaments – the World Cup – takes place every four years and is the most widely viewed sporting event across the globe. Russia, the host for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, has taken the privilege to organize the event for the first time for both country and Eastern Europe.

Nineteen days after its opening ceremony and with an estimated cost of over USD 14.2 billion; the 2018 FIFA world cup has become the most expensive world cup ever. With new technologies implemented such as the Video Assistant Referees (VARs) and the host country going to different lengths to provide free public transportation service for traveling fans by the aid of FAN ID’s making travel much easier and cheaper. 

Since its opening, fans from different corners of the world descended on Russia. A system of free visas is implemented to aid fans in the vast region travelling up to 23 hours train rides in support of their national team from match venue to venue.

To watch a single match in one of these stadiums costs a minimum of 5,000 birr. However, the fans only concern is to support their national team and enjoy the World Cup. In a Group D match between Argentina and Nigeria, over 50 thousand Argentina fans were in Saint Petersburg Stadium. Argentina won the match 2-1 after struggling to score the winning goal which saw them progress to the next round at the expense of Nigeria. Nigerian fullback Victor Moses equalized in the 51-minute bringing almost all fans to tears, but a goal from Marcos Rojo in the 86th minute changed the atmosphere of Krestovsky Stadium with Argentineans’ elated and chanting “Messi Messi, Maradona Maradona,” till the end of the match.

Argentina fans traveled 17,324 km to attend the 2018 World Cup. A father and son came to Russia two days ago and will stay for ten days watching the World Cup alongside each-other in-support of their national team.

“We are enjoying the World Cup and Russia is well prepared to host this tournament. Everything is good here and we will stay for the coming ten days,” Pablo Fernando told The Reporter.

His son Martin Fernando also explained: “I am really lucky to be a part of this World Cup and I hope we are going to have a pleasant time with my dad and fans from Argentina as well.”

Fan fest in the World Cup

Unlike watching football in stadiums; FAN Fest is another choice which brings various people together.  The fan fest is the perfect place to watch matches of FIFA World Cup live and enjoy exciting music and cultural entertainment program free of charge on match days for those opting to not go in stadiums. Moscow Fan fest started on June 10, 2018 four days before the opening game.

Fan fest is an official public viewing of the FIFA world Cup and provides an authentic FIFA World Cup experience.  It is a place where thousands of passionate fans come together and share their culture and experiences.

The FIFA fan fest offers a fun and safe environment, providing to its guests not only the possibility to enjoy each match on a giant high-quality screen with prefect sound, but also experience delicious food and refreshing drinks.

Ethiopian Abera Getachew was invited by one of his family members who reside in Russia. He cleared his calendar to go to Moscow during the World Cup. “I am really lucky to be here and watch games. I had an opportunity to watch games in both the stadium and in the fan fest as well. It feels great,” Abera explained the moment.

Russian fans are confident that Russia prepared well enough. Antonio Vladimir – a Russian fan – believes that his country has shown an impressive form in the world cup tournament ever.

“It’s quite great and everything is ok. No problems, no drunken people and the weather is very good,” Vladimir told The Reporter.

Fans from China, India, Canada, the UAE and the US were witnessed enjoying the Moscow fan fest. FIFA, the local organizing committee and the host city have collaborated in providing this experience around all stadiums in Russia.

One Chinese fan, who travelled to Russia to watch the World Cup, is now supporting Iceland. “The atmosphere is very good. I think it is a good space for watching a game because, it’s free. The drinks and foods are not expensive,” Brian Ho Ka Hin told The Reporter.

The FIFA fan fests venues are the best place to be at outside the stadium to experience the World Cup. According to the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and the host cities of the FIFA World Cup are thrilled to announce that the FIFA fan fest has already welcomed 2.5 million visitors.

By Dawit Tolesa, Moscow, Russia