INCREDIBLE!: 1,863 Nigerian Fans Still In Russia Six Months After 2018 World Cup

INCREDIBLE!: 1,863 Nigerian Fans Still In Russia Six Months After 2018 World Cup

Russian Interior Ministry has revealed that 1,863 Nigerian football fans who arrived in Russia for the  2018 FIFA World Cup are still in the country, making up the the more than 5,000 supporters who have remained illegally.

It was reported last week that more than 12,000 World Cup fans had still been in Russia as of December 31 – the date on which the FAN ID system formally ended.

The system allowed fans with World Cup match tickets to enter Russia during the tournament without a visa, as long as they held a FAN ID document.

The scheme was deemed a success and extended so that FAN ID holders could continue to enter the country without a visa until the end of the year.

The Russian Interior Ministry reported last week that the number of fans remaining in Russia illegally beyond the deadline had been reduced during January, but still stood at 5,500.

The Interior Ministry press service provided RIA Novosti with a breakdown of those numbers on Thursday.

Nigerians make up the largest group still in Russia, with 1,863 citizens yet to have left. That’s followed by people from Vietnam (911) and Bangladesh (456) – neither of whom were playing at the 32-team tournament.

Senegal, who were part of the competition but like Nigeria were knocked out at the group stage, have an estimated 253 citizens still in the country.

The Interior Ministry has said that work to expel those in the country illegally will continue, and is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Around 650,000 foreign fans visited Russia during the tournament, according to the ministry.

“In the main, they were all law-abiding and left the country in their own time,” migration department head Andrei Kayushin had said last week. 

Some fans may well have been looking to continue the World Cup party, although others may have hoped to enter Russia before moving on elsewhere – including to the EU – AP reported.

Others are said to have planned to file for asylum in Russia.

The World Cup in Russia was hailed as among the best ever, and was won by France, who beat Croatia 4-2 in the final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on July 15.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • It’s sad that they want to wait and be removed from Russia as illegal people. God help them.

  • One of our problems as a nation is giving people wrong tags. These were in most probability not football fans in the first place, but economic migrants who took the opportunity of worldcup fan visas.

    I had someone ask me during the worldcup to assist him with money to get to Russia as he was in possession of a fan visa (or whatever it is CALLED. He got to Russia, signed for an amateur club and started playing football, not attending a single match. He has now “worked his way” to Serbia and is attending trials with various clubs.

    I have no doubt that the majority of those still in Russia are there in a bid to “find something”, afterall, a lot of the real fans who were stranded were flown home at Nigeria’s expense.

    I bet if a plane is sent to get those 1,800 Nigerians back, you will not see more than 10% of them showing up to catch the plane back home

    • Should France and, may I add, Egypt move to curtail the number of Nigerian fans they elect to allow enter their respective territories for the women’s world cup and Afcon, we will accuse authorities in those countries of being biased; even so far as being racist to Nigerian fans .

      Stories like the one above do our image no good.

  • Where is Bomboy? We have missed you. Hope you are OK mate .

    • Bomboy 3 months ago

      I am here bros, and I have been following your comments religiously. Personal issues limited my time on the internet throughout January, but no I am back to the only ‘addiction’ in my life: Complete Sports and the Super Eagles.

      Thanks for caring!

  • Sunnyb 3 months ago

    Bro, that country is bad, nobody wants to stay in that jungle. Like Bigd said  most of those guys are not football fans,their  are just looking for ways to better their lives.Is so sad because true fans might suffer the consequences.