But Pavel Klymenko, Eastern Europe development officer for the UEFA-backed Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), says this system will primarily work for a minority of well-known hooligans. “We haven’t seen any records published bythe authorities estimating how many people were denied fan IDs and for what reasons,” hesays.
Foreign football hooligans, Lavrishev added, are just as unwelcome. Authorities have already blacklisted 191 overseas fans. For the duration of the games, Russia has changed visa rules, requiring all foreigners to register with authorities within one day of their arrival in the country.
Russian authorities are also cracking down on another group they consider threatening: protesters.
Human rights organizations have criticized a new bill imposing stricter restrictions on the right to protest over the duration of the Confederations Cup. The temporary law, which will also apply during next year’s World Cup, requires protesters to ask for special permission to hold a rally.
Russian opposition figures and activists have decried the measure, saying it comes at a time of a revived anti-Kremlin protest movement. On June 12, opposition leader Alexei Navalny drew thousands to Moscow’s streets for the second time this year.
Both nationwide protests ended in hundreds of arrests across the country. Authorities maintain they plan to do the same to any protesters during the this month’s Confederation Cup and next year’s World Cup.
Standing outside Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium June 1 this year, a lonely young protester tested the measure. In a one-man protest, he held a sign that read “I don’t care about football, I picket where I want.”
He was detained within less than an hour.