Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html en-gb 30 Thu 30 Oct 2014 19:01:27 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html JoshDickson1990 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=96#comment26 This post has been Removed Wed 21 May 2008 12:25:50 GMT+1 JoshDickson1990 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=92#comment25 This post has been Removed Wed 21 May 2008 11:25:40 GMT+1 ronnie the burglar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=88#comment24 Typically the Russian embassy in the UK deals with around 60,000 visa applications per year. As a result of this match, they could have expected an extra 40-50,000 applications over a three week period. That's a marked difference between the CL Final and Zenit St. Petersburg bringing 10,000 fans to Manchester. In Zenit's case, the problem was solved by the UK consulate working 24/7 on visa applications. In the CL Final's case, the problem was sovled by the RUssian authorities accepting match tickets as temporary visas. So what's everyone moaning about? The problem has been solved.By the way, I agree that it's perfectly acceptable for the final to be held in Moscow. Any nation that takes part in the competition is and should be eligible to host the final, regardless of how much the little Englanders moan about the inconvenience. I'm a United season ticket holder, who went to the '99 final in Barcelona. I would have loved to go to this final too, but the expense is too much. However, that doesn't mean that I think the final should be moved.I think Mihir's most pertinent point came when talking about two Italian teams playing the CL final in Manchester a few years ago. What would the British press have said had there been serious calls to move that final to Italy? Tue 20 May 2008 09:25:10 GMT+1 ricall http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=85#comment23 As I said "Everyone is missing the point" Fans will follow their team wherever they need to go and Yes, every nation deserves to get their slice of the pie in due course. I would rather go abroad to watch the Champions League Final than to Wembley or Old Trafford, and in fact I am going to Moscow, but justifying the cost of the trip is impossible. And why does it cost so much, because Uefa choose to hold the final in a city as far east as they can (un)reasonably expect fans to travel and because of that the Airlines and Hotels can charge whatever they like. If it was held in a western nation the choice of travel is much greater. Nobody expects anyone to change for the English, by being more central EVERY NATIONALITY of FAN is better off. Finally, the money from this final will not benefit Russian football it will be the Oligarchs who will start to invest in Russian football after the UEFA cup final who will benefit Russian football. Tue 20 May 2008 09:24:48 GMT+1 phil http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=81#comment22 Sorry Guys, Its no surprise the irritation and hostility Brits encounter abroad when the attitudes in some of these blog prevails.. I'm a United season ticket holder and I attended every CL home game this campaign but I knew at the beginning of the season just like everyone else that the final was to be played in Moscow. Every member federation has a right to apply to UEFA to hold the final and its rightly used to promote football and sport in general in countries that otherwise wouldnt see a sporting event of this magnitude. If you look at the last 10 CL finals they have dominated by Italian, Spanish and English teams. Does that mean the final should be rotated between the 3 ? Your Arrogance Is Breathtaking.. Tue 20 May 2008 07:43:40 GMT+1 bluebarto http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=77#comment21 Why do English supporters think because Eastern Europe is difficult to get to, and they are so far behind the times, as many English who have never been to Eastern Europe will tell you, they should not have a piece of the pot of gold that is the Champions League. Its bad enough that the champions of these countries have to play a 3rd/4th place team from one of the affluent western leagues just to get a piece of the action. It goes without saying that these teams have far more resources and year after year, teams like Steaua Bucharest, the Moscow teams, and the teams from the Balkan nations are being dangled the carrott of Champions League football, then told they will have to beat Juventus, Barcelona or Arsenal just to get it. This prevents them from ever being able to compete. People are complaining that football is being monopolised by the G-14 as these clubs are bringing in double the revenue of other teams in their leagues from TV revenue alone. Yet at the same time, smaller nations should not host Euro finals to bring in revenue and potentially boost their profiles, all because it is difficult to get there from England. I think the airlines should take a lot of the blame for the cost as with a bit of research, on another date you could probably fly to Riga and change for Mocsow for about £200. Its not UEFA's or Platini's fault that this multiplies by 5 when there is a big final. Mon 19 May 2008 23:44:30 GMT+1 Edricson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=74#comment20 I have to take issue with trueblue1987's comment. My own sad experience is that the British visa process has grown steadily more contorted, and not just for Russians. Four years ago my brother spent two hours at the British embassy in Moscow and went away with a two-year student visa with zero problems. Now I have to fly the whole length of Norway (which is a two-hour flight!) to apply for a visa in person just because there is a fingerprint requirement, only to learn that the embassy doesn't give the visa on the same day as they used to, so you either have to stay in Oslo (not the cheapest city!) until you get it or get it by post. The result? We have tickets (ironically, to Manchester) for Wednesday, but the passport is still out there after almost two weeks of waiting. And it's not even possible to find out whether the visa has been granted.Russian bureaucracy can be equally bad (trust me, I know what I'm talking about), but to say that the comparison is not entirely fair is misguided. Mon 19 May 2008 19:20:38 GMT+1 stopthepress http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=70#comment19 Sniffing at the money men again Mihir? Steady on old boy. Mon 19 May 2008 19:20:30 GMT+1 JoshDickson1990 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=66#comment18 Platini "eases" the problems does he?Platini solved a mess entirely of his own doing; oh what a hero! Well he's conned some clown's into that belief anyway. Mon 19 May 2008 18:54:35 GMT+1 U11858547 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=62#comment17 This post has been Removed Mon 19 May 2008 16:58:42 GMT+1 eldeano http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=59#comment16 Visa process for Russians wishing to come to the UK? Yes, it's normally a slow process. However, for Zenit fans the British Consulate in St Petersburg stayed open virtually 24/7 for 10 days prior to the final. It assisted in the completion of the applications, then the visas were issued from Moscow and sent with the passports to the club who then issued them with the tickets.I'd say that was a pretty good effort from a small office when suddenly faced with the potential of 8,000 - 10,000 visa applications. Mon 19 May 2008 16:10:38 GMT+1 judgejust http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=55#comment15 This post has been Removed Mon 19 May 2008 15:36:59 GMT+1 joeldude998 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=51#comment14 As a fan that travelled to moscow for the england game last year, i can state that obtaining a russian visa, although a bit long winded, is not that difficult. I hear that often when it is the other way round russian people need to have an interview with our officials. No such thing for me going to russia. A little note to fans travelling (ie DavidGinsburg), i would suggest against being in the area of Arbat, a traditionally touristy area of moscow, either just before or just after the game. It is full of souvenir shops and bars, but this is the area where trouble started when russian houligans descended on the area in october, and it may well happen again on wednesday... Mon 19 May 2008 15:01:08 GMT+1 Matthew Cain http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=48#comment13 Mihir: I'd be interested to know how this article came about. Have you been briefing by Galliard? Or Platini himself? Did you check the claims of Platini's great diplomacy with sources in the Russian government? Mon 19 May 2008 14:44:11 GMT+1 tonkatsu_dave http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=44#comment12 Personally I remember hearing plenty about calls in the Italian media for the 2003 final to be moved to Italy - doesn't anyone else? It would still have been wrong, just as calls to move this final to Wembley are.It's unreasonable to expect a top sporting event to be withdrawn at the last minute from a city which tendered a bid in good faith a won the right to host it. However, it ISN'T unreasonable to expect a bit more common sense from the powers that be when deciding the venue in the first place.I'm all for strengthening the "UEFA family of nations", I think it's good for the strength and depth of the competition. But ultimately it doesn't matter how well suited a city is to hosting a final, if if getting there is going to create a logistical nightmare for anyone who isn't rich then it isn't a good choice.Whether we like it or not, it's a fact that only 4 of 106 European Cup finalists (Steaua Bucharest x 2, RS Belgrade x1, Red Star Belgrade x1) have come from outside a nucleus of 11 western European countries. Having the occasional final somewhere on the fringes of the European football map might be ok; having 3 of the last 4 there is taking the micky, and shows that UEFA is working to its own agenda, one which clearly doesn't take ordinary fans into account.And how exactly will hosting the Champions League final in Moscow help Russian sport out of its decline? The only Russians there will be sponsors' guests, VIPs and the rich.Fair play to Moscow, thumbs down to UEFA, and good luck to the Man Utd and Chelsea fans who are travelling. Mon 19 May 2008 14:30:34 GMT+1 grantLF http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=40#comment11 This post has been Removed Mon 19 May 2008 14:12:08 GMT+1 pattfield http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=37#comment10 Hi Mihir. I think most Russians would beg to differ on the decline of sport in their country on the day many of them were celebrating long into the wee hours having watched their country secure its first world ice hockey championship in five years with an overtime win over Canada, in Quebec City no less. Mon 19 May 2008 13:34:38 GMT+1 DavidGinsberg http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=33#comment9 Hi Mihir, well done on "breaking" this story but I'm pretty sure I heard this two weeks ago. Any chance you could find out something a bit more "current" for us? Myself and 20,000 other Chelsea fans are off to Moscow for Wednesday's final. Can the BBC not give us a better idea of what to expect? It might surprise you but some of us are capable of travelling away and enjoying a beer without resorting to violence or anti-social behaviour of any description. Will we be able to do this in the mysterious "fan zones"? or do we have to venture into Moscow itself? Surely you and your team can enlighten us! Mon 19 May 2008 11:57:42 GMT+1 j-jimmy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=29#comment8 Why do we english feel special and always want to do things differently? I know its very expensive getting to russia n all expences but this is an european competition and should be held anywhere in the continent whether its an all english final or not.If going to moscow is expensive for people then they can sit home watch it on ITV/SKY or go to a pub with friends and all and create your own atmosphere.If russia and other european countries can host the euro cup so why cant they also host the champions league.No one in italy in 2003 called for the venue shifted to italy because it was an all italian final.The final venue is always known before the season commences and its being like this for ages so why change it because we are "english", one word senseless!!!This is one of the reasons why other europeans call us arrogant with nothing to show for it in terms of trophies n all.My french mate said to me why should it be held in england when they cant make it to the european champs in a group considered easy for a supposed top european team.Good point Mr Bihir and lets get on with enjoying the game on wednesday, cant wait! Mon 19 May 2008 11:53:03 GMT+1 varvaros http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=25#comment7 trueblue1987 - Mihir's point is valid as while there weren't as many Russians travelling to Manchester, the fact that it's roughly 5x more difficult for a Russian traveller to obtain a UK visa than it is for a Brit to get a Russian one makes the process very much comparable... Mon 19 May 2008 11:44:41 GMT+1 cheeseymunky http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=22#comment6 Yes, well done Platini, but one of the main criticisms is that he has left it to the last minute to try and sort it out.Whilst semi-final teams had to provide their full list of 21,000 fans hoping to attend Moscow (IF their team progressed) 2 days before the actual semi-final, Platini did not even consider trying to sort out the problem of 43,000 visa requests until a couple of weeks ago. Any visa problems were hardly unforseeable with 3 out of 4 English teams in the semis and the other a fellow EU member (Barcelona).I think the criticisms that Platini had not thought about the average fan (i.e. non-private flight/5* hotel) are right. Another case of poor planning by UEFA irrelevant of Moscow being a suitable venue or not. Mon 19 May 2008 11:41:44 GMT+1 Footballusedtobegood http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=18#comment5 Trueblue1987 doesn't know what he/she is talking about. It is not hard for Brits to obtain a visa to Russia. It does cost money, but it is not difficult. It is far harder for Russians to obtain a visa to enter the UK, or indeed just about any other European country. Mon 19 May 2008 11:39:51 GMT+1 SteelPilko http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=14#comment4 Mr Bose and his UEFA sources can afford to visit Moscow, most fans can't.Never mind the carbon footprint of this match. It's all very typical of football's attitude to dismiss any reasoned argument that might involve less profit being made. Mon 19 May 2008 11:36:03 GMT+1 Sal http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=11#comment3 The first comment above tells you everything you need to know about English arrogance. I am a Brit as well and support Utd. But this is the European cup, not a silly domestic bauble like the fizzy drinks cup won by Spurs or the FA Cup. I want to see teams from across all of Europe competing at a uniformly high level. To do this, uefa must emphasise the inclusivity of all European nations in the tournament. Having the final in Russia and in other east european nations in the future will help garner greater interest amongst those populations and demonstrate to all Europe that this is the European Cup and not the Western European Cup.The beauty of European football lies intrinsically in the contest between contrasting footballing styles of different nations. I believe the monopoly of English, Spanish and Italian clubs is to the tournament's detriment. East Europeans are wonderfully technical players and have contributed much to the European Cup with great players and great teams of the past like Red Star Belgrade. Their decline in recent years has weakened this Cup. We need to promote football in less developed leagues and nations in Europe. This will ultimately help in creating more competitve teams around the whole continent which will further enhance the beauty and appeal of a tournament that I already believe represents the highest standard of football played by man. Mon 19 May 2008 11:32:21 GMT+1 Mikaldo11 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=7#comment2 I agree with Ricall above, however £1000 is slightly less than I managed to price the trip to cost. With flights, hotels, food, transport, tickets (and originally Visa's which we thought we had to buy when applying for tickets before the semi's took place) it would have cost at least double that figure, probably more. I love united, but that's money I just don't have that sort of money! I'll be able to watch the match at home and point at my empty seat, can't wait! Mon 19 May 2008 11:22:09 GMT+1 trueblue1987 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=3#comment1 I would disagree with you on one point Mihir. Visas for entry into Russia are notoriously difficult to obtain, (far more so than in this country), and the large difference in the groups of fans travelling (ie expecting far more English fans in Russia than were in Manchester last week) means that any comparison between the visa process between Britain and Russia isn't entirely fair. Mon 19 May 2008 11:11:45 GMT+1 ricall http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/05/access_granted.html?page=0#comment0 Re: "As it is, the British media has already had many critical articles about Russia staging the final" I think everyone missed the point, as a season ticket holder, I cannot justify spending over £1000 for a day trip to watch the match. This final and the last two have been held in the most isolated capitals in europe. If the finals were rotated between the five major footballing nations travel would be cheaper, easier and fairer to the fans. When Mr Plantini and his cronies are flying first class and staying in 5* hotels they don't care how much the rest of us have paid to get there. And worse is that they are not accountable or subject to review. If other nations then start to challenge for the top honours then they can be considered as hosts. Mon 19 May 2008 11:08:16 GMT+1