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MOSCOW, January 16 (R-Sport) - Fans wishing to attend the Sochi Winter Games will be asked to register personal details with the Russian authorities first, organizing committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko said Wednesday.
Chernyshenko said the scheme would be voluntary and allow ticket buyers to receive a so-called "fan passport" that would give access to "hundreds of events at the Olympic Park," including concerts, as well as access to museums and theaters in the city of Sochi.
“A person who wants to buy a ticket will be requested to voluntarily register for the database. It’s confirmation that he is a well-behaved fan. He joins a sort of Sochi 2014 fan club,” Chernyshenko said.
“It’s similar to accreditation for sporting competitions. You don’t have to view this as a policing measure.”
It was unclear whether it would be possible to buy a ticket without registering, and what implication the scheme has for foreigners.
The scheme will be linked to Russia's newly introduced national ID card database, which stores the owner’s passport information and even bank details.
The first state ID cards have been issued this month on a voluntary basis and will be compulsorily from the start of next year. They have attracted condemnation from some Russian civil liberties activists.
Organizers are in talks with state-owned bank Sberbank, the country’s largest retail lender, about merging the database with the national ID card information.
“We’re holding negotiations with Sberbank to unite this with the procedure for receiving the Universal Electronic Card, the electronic card of every inhabitant of our country,” he said.
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will be held from February 7 to 23 next year.
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