We protest against placing the FIFA Fan Fest 2018 on University campus. Your solidarity can help.

The only official fan fest for the FIFA World Cup in Moscow is to be placed next to the Moscow State University. After the protests, the zone was moved a little further from the main building. This is a fake response. This placement will damage the University. We demand to move it away from the University district.

FanFest is in 300 meters from the dormitory of MSU

The noise and the security measures will affect badly the educational and research activities and the life of the campus with 6 500 habitants, 37 000 students and 9 000 professors and researchers. Faculties are to shorten the courses and the exam sessions, researchers are forced to take holidays. The residents of the dormitory are either to suffer from the noise or to risk eviction. The citizens are to suffer from a transport collapse caused by the installation of a strict gating system around territory that has always been open to public. The green territory around our University wasn’t designed to host a festival with 25 000 football fans.

We ask world education and research community to help us to protect our university. Not considering the opinion of the university community and making it suffer in order to organize a commercial event is an insult to all of us.

We ask all the associations, committees, trade unions and any other organizations that unite students, professors and researchers to write a letter to the FIFA president and to the rector of MSU.
Let’s make it clear that fan fest has to be taken away from the University district.

Our voices will only be heard when they are united.

Send an open letter from your organization to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Rector Victor Sadovnichiy, and join our demand to move the fan fest.

Spread the information, use #noFanFestMSU in social networks.

Make a photo in your campus /laboratory/ lecture hall with #noFanFestMSU.

Sign our petition individually (if you do not associate yourself with education or research, consider helping the ordinary citizens of Moscow to be heard and taken seriously).

Initiative Group of students and employees of Lomonosov Moscow State University (IGMSU)

Want to contact us?
Here is our e-mail: mail@igmsu.org
Or via our spokesperson,
(aleksandr.s.bykov@gmail.com, +31 6 20 69 1666).


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What exactly is a “FIFA Fan Fest” in the “Fan Zone” that is planned near the MSU?

Fan Festival is a massive event that lasts 30 days and includes collective watchings of matches, performances of celebrities and other entertaining activities. Fan Zone would be equipped with a 30-40 meters long 27 meters wide stage, advertisement of sponsors, audio sound amplifiers with power approximately 130-140 decibels, and a tribune for 25 thousand fans, press-center, shops selling souvenirs and food and drinks (including alcohol), toilettes, etc. 64 matches are to be shown in 30 days.

Where exactly is the fan zone for the FIFA Fan Festival planned to be? 

The Fan Zone is planned to be 300 meters (328 yards) from the Main Building of the Moscow State University. The initial plan was to put the Fan Zone right in front of the porch of the Main Building, but this project was rejected after the massive protests of MSU students and professors. The Fan Zone was moved from the porch towards the wildlife reserve “Vorobyovy gory”. This arrangement does not protect the University from the negative consequences of placing the Fan Zone. Moreover, part of the territory of the MSU campus will be used for the needs of the Festival.

Why is it bad for the University?

The obvious negative effects are the everyday noise (loud music, fans’ screams) and the restrictions on the freedom of movement and the changes of the usual routes of public transport because of the security measures (including building a fence) for the entire month.

1) The educational process will be disrupted. It is unacceptable to force students to prepare for the exams and pass them in such stressful conditions. The windows of many classrooms and dormitory rooms face the territory of the Fan Zone. In summer it is important to be able to open the windows since there are no conditioners in the Main Building. Even if the students choose to tolerate the heat, the windows are too old and cannot protect from the sound.

2) The scientific research process will be disturbed. The administration, according to our information, plans to “clean up” the campus, forcing research assistants to take the vocation on that period. The laboratories on campus might be forced to stop their work for a month and the university buildings might be closed.

3) The living conditions of students, PhD students and some of the professors, overall inhabitants of 5 thousand rooms in the Main Building of MSU, will become terrible because of the constant noise and unprecedented security measures.

Less obvious but still possible negative consequences are the problems of entering for anyone who does not work in the University but was invited as a lecturer, discussant or a listener of the seminar, the risk of giving the students rooms in the dormitory to the policemen, the restrictions on delivering some chemicals in the labs — no one knows exactly what the security measures will be.

What has been done by the students and employees to move the FIFA Fan Fest and the fan zone away?

We have appealed to the authorities: Moscow Government, the mayor of Moscow, the Administration of the President,  head of MSU Council of Trustees V. Putin, the vice prime minister I. Shuvalov,  Deputy Chairman of the Government V. Mutko, and the Organisation Committee of FIFA-2018, but we only got replies besides the point.

We have written letters to those who represented FIFA: to the FIFA President Gianni Infantino (no response), to the FIFA Ambassador Marcel Desailly (formal response), to the FIFA Ambassador Alexei Smertin (no response).

In Moscow State University we have gathered over 4,5 thousand paper signatures of students and employees for the moving the FIFA Fan Fest and Fan Zone away. We asked the MSU president V. Sadovnichy to enunciate and support this demand. The campaign supporters came to him but he placed security guards and police. The MSU president refused to hear the delegates and then they faced the administrative pressure. We left the letter with signatures through MSU president’s secretary and took copies to the President’s Administration and the mayor’s office (haven’t got any responses yet).

On the 11th of March we organized a series of solo picketings near the buildings of Moscow authorities that are responsible for the organization of the Fan Zone, and also in front of the President’s Administration. We plan to continue to protest.

What is the official position of the MSU administration?

The administration of MSU hasn’t formulated a clear position. Its officials claim they have no influence on what happens on the territory that is next to the campus. They emphasized that after negotiations the Zone was made smaller (for 25 thousand fans instead of 40 as planned initially). Thus, they indirectly recognize that the FIFA Fan Festival is an inconvenience to the MSU.

The MSU president gave his accord to place the Fan Zone next to the campus in 2010 without consulting neither the employees nor students.

In February 2018 the MSU president was publicly asked to address to V. Putin the demand of students and employees to move the Fan Zone away. As a reply, two orders were issued: they guaranteed the traditional time-frame of the exams and the residence of students during the summer to remain as usual. Thus, the MSU president addressed fears concerning some of the consequences of the Zone but ignored the request to publicly enunciate the position of MSU community.

FYI MSU president stopped being an elective office in 2009. After the law changed he has been being appointed by the president of Russia.