As England’s World Cup roadshow returns to Moscow, Three Lions fans are scrambling for tickets to their biggest game in decades.
The national team face Croatia in a last four clash at Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital, which is easier to get to from the UK than previous venues.
Here’s what fans need to know:
Tickets for England’s semi-final and the final on the Fifa official ticketing website were unavailable by Sunday evening. It remains possible some could reappear through official resales from fans of other nations hoping their team made it as far.
The face value of tickets ranges from 750 US dollars (£567) for category one, to 480 US dollars (£363) for category two and 285 US dollars (£215) for category three.
But some fans could face trying to buy tickets from unauthorised sellers for well over the official price – with hundreds apparently available online at sites including viagogo.com and stubhub.com for £1,000 or more for category one, £815 for category two, and £802 for category three.
At least this is free, and should be relatively quick and simple to get hold of.
The Fan ID acts like a visa, allowing fans to enter Russia for the duration of the tournament. All fans need is any one of either a ticket request ID, a ticket number or a self-registration code, as well as a clear portrait photograph against a white background.
The online application takes a few minutes and an electronic ID will be emailed or text within moments. The fan-id.run website says fans can get into Russia using the electronic version and their passport before picking up their laminated copy form the Fan ID centres in the host cities, including in city centres and near the stadium.
Emma Coulthurst, travel expert for holiday price comparison site, TravelSupermarket said fans had been taking advantage of those posting pictures of their tickets to use their reference in order to get a Fan ID. And she added: “The Russian Embassy, keen to see Brits visit for the Samara game, were issuing visas last week within one day.”
If this service continues, this could mean an influx of England fans without tickets arriving in Moscow for Wednesday’s game.
Prices for flights have soared during the tournament, with direct return flights, lasting around four hours each way, costing around £532 on Monday according to TravelSupermarket. Fans who do not mind taking an indirect route can save money but the cheapest listed on the comparison site for Monday (£319) involved flying from London Stansted, a 21-hour stopover in Munich on the way there and then a six-and-a-half hour layover in Frankfurt on the return to London Heathrow.
Moscow has two international airports with direct flights to and from the UK, including Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo with national carriers Aeroflot and British Airways. Indirect flights are also possible to a third international airport, Vnukovo.
Coulthurst said: “Since the whistle blew, TravelSupermarket’s site has seen a big spike in interest from fans searching for ways to get out to Moscow for the semi-final and even the final. There will be a rush to book before prices increase even more on Monday. As bums on seats increase on the planes, so will prices.”
Hotel rooms have become available as fans from nations that have been dumped out of the World Cup have headed home. But fans can still expect to pay more than £100 for a room overnight based on two people sharing, according to TravelSupermarket.
Coulthurst suggested package deals could be more cost-effective, with deals setting off on Monday and returning on Monday after the final starting from £688 per person including flights from London Stansted and three star bed and breakfast for seven nights.
Fans will be expected to register at their hotels when they arrive, meaning they must show their immigration card given when they pass through passport control at the airport.
Meanwhile, rooms in Moscow city centre ranged from around 1,000 Russian rubles (£12) a night for a bed in a shared hostel, 4,000 rubles (£48) per night for a basic apartment for four people and 116,000 rubles (£1,387) per night for a modern two-bed apartment in the business district.