The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE final between Chelsea and Manchester United is set for May 21 in Moscow. We don’t know who we feel more sorry for: the fine, upstanding citizens of Moscow or the British fans set to invade one of the world’s most corrupt, crime-ridden burgs.
(Did they commission Beijing for the logo?)
Our favorite development thus far on the game comes from the NEW YORK TIMES, which reports that “Russian officials announced Monday that British soccer fans will be allowed to travel to Moscow for the Champions League final without an entry visa.”
45,000 such Visas are due to be issued. Of course, that is if Russians can muster enough bureaucratic infrastructure for the job (that’s the one area they’ve got covered). And we’re absolutely positive that *welcoming* all those unscreened British *soccer fans* will have no consequences.
So why is Moscow so enthusiastic about welcoming the Brits and making nice-nice?
The Champions League final, along with the Super Bowl, is probably the most-watched sporting event in the world each year. Moscow will be on an enormous stage (albeit sans America). So they obviously don’t want to blow the chance to propagandize the country’s most-current, tyrannical *government*.
The other reason of course is money. From the LONDON GUARDIAN:
Face values on the tickets range from €80 to €200 (£63 - £158). However, the deadline for applications has already closed and the unfortunate thousands who want, but don’t have, tickets will have to turn either to more exclusive vendors or to the black market.
Russian websites are offering fans an oligarch’s-eye view from a comfortable armchair in the stadium’s VIP zone for £6,000.
$12,000 for one ticket to see 90 minutes of soccer? Does that come with a shirtless, judo lesson from Putin?