Our letter to FIFA sponsors

[Personlized version were sent to Adidas, Bud, Coca-Cola, Hisense, Hyundai, McDonald’s, Mengniu, Qatar Airways, VISA, Vivo, and Wanda]

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are the students and employees of Lomonosov Moscow State University and we are appealing to you to expedite the change of location of the FIFA Fan Fest 2018. The festival and the fan zone placed right outside the University would interfere with the education and research of MSU and would also threaten the wildlife preserve “Vorobyovy gory” and the monument of the landscape architecture “Park MSU”.

The Organizing Committee of the World Cup 2018, the FIFA and the Moscow administration decided to place the only fan zone of Moscow right next to the Main Building of the MSU. The 32-days lasting festival and the construction of facilities for 25 thousand fans is planned (including the scene, the screen as big as 140 m2, the speakers that ensure the sound 130-140 dB, commercial kiosks with food, drinks and souvenirs, technical pavilions, etc)

Main Building of MSU hosts auditoriums, laboratories and dormitory. 10 thousand people live, study, teach and do research here. The noise, the hardening of the access control, and intense criminogenic atmosphere will become a serious obstruction to all educational and research activities and will affect badly the living conditions of those who live in the dormitories. This will cause the discontent and may provoke the students’ protest actions.

Noise, projector lights, litter and trampling down the plants will damage the wildlife preserve “Vorobyovy gory” (a home to a unique specimen of flora and fauna), a specially protected by the state natural area. The ways from the nearest metro station to the fan zone are planned directly through the preserve. There is also a threat to the peregrine falcons that nest on the Main Building. They are listed in the Russian Red Data Book of endangered species and are protected by the international treaties including CITES, Convention on Migratory Species, and Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.

Sponsoring the Festival located (according to the current plan) on the Vorobyovy hills will mean great reputational risks and PR problems for your company. The company’s image will be damaged in the eyes of thousands MSU students, professors, employees, alumni, Moscow residents as well as the Russian and international academic community.

There are lots of locations that can be used for the Festival without causing devastating effects. Park VDNKH and the Red Square are ones of the many possible options that suit the FIFA requirements. Please help to change the location of the FIFA Fan Fest.

We know that the ethical business is one of the core value of your company. We count on your forethought and understanding.

P.S. Please note that in order to raise public awareness of the problem of the fan zone placement we have sent such letters to every company that is a FIFA and World Cup 2018 sponsor, and we informed about these appeals the Russian and international media.

Sincerely yours,
Initiative group of students and employees of Lomonosov Moscow State University.