Over 170 Nigerians yet to go back home from Russia after the World Cup
As many as 174 people from Nigeria who travelled to Russia for the 2018 World Cup on FIFA’s FAN ID system have yet to officially leave with many believed to have travelled onward to the European Union.
Under the terms and conditions of the FAN ID, travellers were entitled to make repeated entries to Russia up until to December 31, 2018. However, up to 500 have not checked out of Russia or arrived back in their home countries.
One hundred and seventy-four are from Nigeria with around three quarters in total originating from sub-Saharan Africa, including countries which didn’t qualify for the World Cup. More are believed to have travelled to Russia from India and China.
It is believed that around one third of the 500 have already left Russia by unofficial means into the EU through routes including Poland, the Baltic countries and Finland. Official numbers are currently unknown. Some are looking for asylum in the EU and most of the remainder are now struggling to eke out a living in Russia.
After the World Cup there was a noticeable increase in the number of African immigrants on the streets of Moscow, with some having now turned to criminality in the absence of any approval to find work. More had been leafletting outside Metro stations and others are known to be looking to marry local Russians to legitimise their stay in the country.