· Five Russians Crossed into Finland and Sought Asylum Using World Cup IDs as Travel Documents. A group of Russians successfully left their country, entered Finland and sought political asylum there using only World Cup IDs as their travel documents ().
· Empty Seats Prompt Officials to Give Out Free Tickets. Stung by televised pictures of empty stands, officials in some of the venue cities have told media outlets that they will happily give out free tickets to those who want to attend future matches, an indication that enthusiasm for the competition may not be quite as high as some suggest ( and ).
· French Fans Refuse Russian Women’s Advances – ‘We Came to Watch Football.’ Russian women have been warned about predatory foreigners, but the problem may be in the opposition direction, with foreigners upset about being preyed upon by Russian women interested in them perhaps as tickets out of the country. French fans have now complained: “We came here to watch football,” they say; not for anything else (momenty.org/worldcup/722).
· Russian Sports Commentator who Mentioned Navalny is a Commentator No More. The former trainer of the Russian team who has been acting as a color commentator made the mistake of mentioning Aleksey Navalny’s name on air. He has been dismissed from this job as a result ().