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Video: People-traffickers exploit World Cup visa loophole in Russia

France 24 screenshot | People abandoned by human traffickers gather outside a youth hostel in Central Moscow.

FIFA’s “FAN IDs” provided millions of football fans with visa-free travel to Russia for the World Cup – but also proved a boon to criminal people-trafficking networks. FRANCE 24's Elena Volochine and Gulliver Cragg report.


The 2018 World Cup ended on July 15 with the country’s authorities proud of a successful tournament. Tourist numbers were boosted significantly thanks to the “FAN IDs” that FIFA issued to anyone who bought a ticket for the match – waiving the need for a visa to enter Russia.

However, these FIFA-issued documents also provided a means to human trafficking gangs to bring people into Russia before enslaving them.

Click on the video player above to watch FRANCE 24's exclusive report.

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