Highlights: FIFA Fan Zone Relocation Campaign

Students and employees of MSU are fighting to relocate the FIFA 2018 World Cup Fan Festival fan zone away from the Sparrow Hills for almost a year — since May 2017, when the initial plans for the location were released. During the summer and autumn of 2017, students started with lawful appeals to all possible state institutions, and in February 2018 the started a protest. The campaign is coordinated by the Initiative Group of students and employees of MSU (IGMSU).

While campaigning, students and employees of MSU:

  1. Cancelled an illegal tender for the “reconstruction” of MSU territory for 2.7 billion rubles (~$45 million), which in fact was just a temporary renovation with only one goal — to make Sparrow Hills shiny for foreign football fans (August 2017)
  2. Attracted the attention Rectorate to the fact that placing a fan zone on a University territory is unacceptable. After our publications and campaign start Rector Viktor Sadovnichiy asked city authorities to shift fan zone away from the university territory — to Universitetsky Prospekt. Nevertheless, it was not achieved, but this action does not solve the actual problems anyways. (Summer 2017)
  3. Wrote a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino (sent by MSU employees union “University solidarity”). No answer. (July 2017)
  4. Wrote hundreds of appeals to state institutions about an unlawful location of the fan zone on Sparrow Hills. Received hundreds of meaningless replies. (July – November 2017)
  5. Collected more than 4600 signs under the petition to MSU Rector V. Sadovnichiy to publicly enunciate his will to relocate the fan zone. Got no replies. The administration only issued an order to not shorten the examination session and that no student will be evicted during the World Cup. Sent a copy of the petition to the Moscow mayor’s office and the President’s administration. (February 2018)  
  6. Organised “Occupy Rectorate” movement trying to physically ‘deliver’ petitions to MSU Rector Sadovnichiy. Denied an opportunity to have a meet the rector. Spread the news about the conflict and received a lot of publication in media. (February 2018)
  7. Made an appeal to help with the relocation of the fan zone to the FIFA Fan Fest Ambassador Marcel Desailly and FIFA Ambassador Alexey Smertin. Did not receive meaningful answers. (February 2018)
  8. Organised solo pickets at the Mayor’s office, the Russian government and President Administration. (March 2018)
  9. Appealed to FIFA sponsors by sending letters to their executives asking to help with the relocation of the fan zone. Also to support the appeal, organised solo pickets near their offices in Moscow. (March 2018)
  10. Started to spread the info about the issue and the protest in English: made a website, posted news on social media, gave several interviews to major European media.
  11. Passed the list of FIFA requirement violations regarding fan zone location on Sparrow Hills to the new chairman of organisation committee ‘Russia-2018’ Arkady Dvorkovich (March 2018)
  12. Appealed to Deputy Municipal District Ramenki Council (locally elected representatives of the district where University is located). The Council agreed with our appeal and passed our appeal to the Moscow Mayor’s office, the President of Russia, FIFA President and 13 companies — FIFA sponsors. (February-April 2018)
  13. Official students’ organisation of MSU (student council of 2 big faculties — mechanical-mathematical and computational mathematics and cybernetics) appealed to organisation committee chairman and Moscow Mayor to relocate the fan zone from Sparrow Hills. (April 2018)
  14. Had a discussion with organisation committee chairman Arkady Dvorkovich (with MM and CMC faculty councils). Declared the arguments of Sparrow Hills being the unacceptable choice for the fan zone, received a confirmation from Dvorkovich to search for alternatives in Moscow. (April 2018)
  15. Appealed to Moscow Mayor to find alternative locations for fan zone in Moscow. Organised series of solo pickets near Mayor’s office and delivered 14 thousand petition signs from change.org to the office. (April 2018)

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