Russians to need government-issued ID cards to buy tickets

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia says soccer fans will need government-issued ID cards next season to buy tickets for league games.

Modeled on the “Fan ID” scheme used at last year’s World Cup, the sports ministry says fans would need to pass a security check before being allowed to buy tickets.

In comments reported by the Tass state news agency, ministry official Irina Grigoryeva says she hopes “these measures will allow us to increase public safety and public order (at games).”

The World Cup ID system was criticized by some Russian fans for being opaque and unaccountable. Fan representatives said thousands had been refused IDs with little explanation and no way to appeal in time for the tournament.