Football Notes: Atlético Madrid's Waitlist For Tickets Doubles To 3,000
One statistic "makes clear the enormous ticket demand among Atlético Madrid fans: in two weeks, the club's wait list for season tickets has doubled, from around 1,500 to 3,000." Next season will be the club's first at Wanda Metropolitano stadium (AS, 6/18).
On Saturday, Russia "marched on toward hosting football’s biggest party" when the the Confederations Cup kicked off in the $750M new stadium in Russian President Vladimir Putin's native St. Petersburg. Russia’s players "duly delivered a victory their head of state had all but demanded this week" by beating New Zealand 2-0. Putin "even got to meet Pele" at halftime. Arriving by helicopter close to the stadium "barely 20 minutes before kickoff, he was soon installed in the main grandstand" making a speech to launch the tournament. He said, "Here, on modern football arenas there will be tough, honest, fair fights until the last minutes of the match" (AP, 6/18).
Russian fans said that dozens -- including a notorious fan leader -- "have been barred from going to Confederations Cup games after their identity documents were unexpectedly canceled." Fans at the tournament "require not only tickets" but also a Russian government-issued "fan ID," in a measure designed to "allow the state to filter out potential troublemakers." A Moscow-based hotline providing legal support for fans said that "many Russians had IDs granted which were canceled hours before Russia's opening game against New Zealand, making their tickets useless" (AP, 6/18).