Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Question 74: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the contact he has had with the Russian authorities regarding the security arrangements for Irish fans attending the Ireland/Russia match on 6 September in Moscow; if, in view of incidents in September 2002, when a number of Irish fans were attacked in the city, if he will be issuing travel advice to fans who intend to go to the match; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17128/11]
The Consular Section of my Department has a long standing arrangement whereby it meets with officials from the FAI to discuss any concerns that there may be in regard to the safety and welfare of Irish fans travelling to away games. Our Embassies will generally provide a consular presence at the match venue and they take part in discussions surrounding the logistical and security arrangements for same. Officials from the Embassy in Moscow, who are in close liaison with my Department's Consular Division, met with representatives of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) in Moscow to discuss preparations for the Ireland-Russia match scheduled to take place there on 6 September 2011, at the Luzhniki Stadium. These FAI representatives have, in turn, met with representatives of the Russian football federation, staff at the Luzhniki Stadium and other relevant bodies.
Comprehensive travel advice is prepared for all Irish away games and this will be issued nearer to the match. The advice will be posted on the Department's website and distributed through the FAI and travel agents. This advice will include lessons drawn from the experiences of fans in 2002 and at other important international matches played in Moscow and other cities over the intervening period. Further contacts with relevant authorities in the Russian Federation will take place in the coming weeks and officials from our Embassy in Moscow will take care that the authorities are aware of our concern that appropriate arrangements be in place to ensure that the travelling fans are able to enjoy a great sporting occasion, without having concerns for their safety or wellbeing.