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Russia lifts visa barrier for Champions League fans

English football fans travelling to Moscow for the Champions League final on May 21 will be able to enter the country without a visa, Moscow mayor Yury Lyzhkov said on Wednesday.

The showcase game is certain to oppose two sides from England following Manchester United's 1-0 win over Barcelona on Tuesday night. The other semi-final, which will be decided later on Wednesday, sees Liverpool and Chelsea level 1-1 after the first leg.

There had been fears that the cumbersome and complex visa application process for foreigners to enter Russia could hit travelling fans, but Luzhkov said this would not be the case.

“The UEFA chief Michel Platini asked us for maximum support in obtaining Russian visas for the fans of the Champions' league finalists,” he said.

“We decided that the 21,000 supporters of each club playing in the final could attend the match without obtaining Russian entry visas.”

Luzhkov said that a passport and a ticket for the final would give fans the right to enter Russia.

“We have resolved a great deal of problems ahead of the final and do not expect any more difficulties,” he said. “I can promise that it will be a real football holiday on May 21 in Moscow.”

Wed 30 April, 2008
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