2018 WC Host City's Mayor Says Residents Should Leave During Tournament
Kaliningrad, Russia, Mayor Alexander Yaroshuk is reportedly "urging residents" to clean up their yards, avoid fights and leave the city before 2018 World Cup matches are held there, according to the MOSCOW TIMES. Leaving Kaliningrad "is voluntary, but strongly encouraged, since city roads will be congested and almost entirely limited to official transport during the competition," Yaroshuk said in an interview to a local radio station. He said, "One of the four games that take place in Kaliningrad will surely feature a top European team. The city will receive 70,000 to 100,000 tourists. Of course, all of them will not be able to get in the stadium, so residents should clean up in their yards. Even better, they should plan to leave the city and relax in the countryside." Residents who remain are "asked to help foreign visitors and avoid fights with the large groups of fans watching the games in bars." City officials are now conducting talks with local employers to "give Kaliningrad residents time off from work during match days" (MOSCOW TIMES, 10/19).