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Russia Cool on Sochi Spectator Pass Plan

19:03 29.03.2013 (Last updated 12:17 30.03.2013)

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Dmitry Kozak | Olympic Games 2014
 
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  © RIA Novosti. Mikhail Mokrushin
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MOSCOW, March 29 (R-Sport) – The Russian government on Friday tiptoed away from the idea of forcing visitors to the Sochi Winter Olympics to register their personal details with authorities.

Sochi officials had previously said spectators might have to hand over their passport information and, potentially, their banking information in order to receive a special pass to Olympic events and museums and theatres around the Black Sea resort.

But in scaled-back remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who’s heading government oversight of the Sochi Games, told R-Sport that organizers now plan on testing the so-called Spectator Pass at upcoming international competitions, such as the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship next month.

“A final decision … will be made as a result of testing,” he said. “We don’t want to create extra problems for fans.”

It's unclear if the pass would apply to foreigners. If so, it would likely pose another bureaucratic headache for international fans already required to obtain Russian visas before entering the country.

The scheme envisions spectators logging their details in a national database linked to Russia’s controversial new state ID card program, which was implemented for citizens earlier this year.

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