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England fans to travel more than 4,000 miles this summer

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

England fans heading to Russia in June are set to spend up to £5,000 on their trip and could clock up more than 4,000 miles to see the Three Lions according to research we’ve carried out with Virgin Media.

Despite the Russian World Cup being a huge challenge logisitically and financially, thousands of England fans are expected to be at this summer’s tournament.

In the group stage England will play matches in Volgograd (vs Tunisia) on June 18, Nizhniy Novgorod (vs Panama) on June 24 and Kaliningrad (vs Belgium) on June 28.

The total journey from London to each host city will be 3,402 miles and 12hrs 15mins by air. Compared with the other nations taking part, England is 22nd in the table by air (including the flight to Russia) and 19th for journeys made by car to their second and third matches. By rail it will take more than 120 hours – five days – to reach all group matches.

 FSF chief executive Kevin Miles said: “England fans are renowned for their fantastic support at tournaments, and even across the vast distances between Russian cities the die-hard fans will be there, following the Three Lions. 

“Whether by road, rail or air, thousands will be there every step of the way supporting Gareth Southgate’s men this summer, hopefully all the way to the final in Moscow on July 15th.”

Virgin Media Infographic final

 A snapshot survey of football fans travelling to Russia from England revealed that almost a quarter (23%) anticipate that their trip will cost more than £3,000. With widely varying hotel prices, match-day tickets for group games priced at £79 – £157, travel – flying to England’s group matches will cost £753 – as well as food and drink, it all adds up.

Fans will have to use a range of different transport options from game-to-game. Travelling by air is the most popular method of transport while in Russia, with 57% indicating that they would make at least one journey by plane. This is followed by train (48%) with only 5% opting to drive. For accommodation, 65% of fans will be staying in hotels, followed by 19% opting for rented apartments.

More than two thirds (66%) said that their trip to Russia will last between one to three weeks: more than a third (39%) said they had one or two tickets to watch games, with 36% having tickets to three to five matches.

When asked if any England fans had learned any Russian ahead of their trip, 95% answered that they had practiced only a couple of words or none at all.

Brigitte Trafford from Virgin Media said: “This research shows the huge financial and travel commitments England fans are prepared to make to support their team. We applaud their passion and support as, without the fans, football wouldn’t be what it is.”

Thanks to PA Images for the picture used in this article.

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