RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Fans with game tickets will be offered free ground transportation between host cities at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"Free travel is a guarantee which we signed at the highest level during our bid," Alexey Sorokin, head of the organizing committee, said Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.
He said the free travel would be by train or bus. Though games will played only in the western part of Russia, it still could mean some long trips.
Travel has been challenging — and expensive — at the last three major football tournaments, including this World Cup in Brazil, the 2012 European championship, and South Africa's 2010 World Cup.
"We'll come up with a very complicated system of using tickets to the game as tickets to a certain means of transportation," Sorokin said.
Russia will use 11 cities — and 12 stadium venues — ranging from Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg in the north to Sochi in the south and Yekaterinburg in the east.
Sorokin acknowledged he had never traveled vast distances on a bus or train in Russia. He estimated a train trip between Moscow and Sochi would be about 18 hours. He said several high-speed trains were currently operating in Russia, and said more might be ready in four years.