Many of us made beautiful plans towards being in Russia for the 2018 World Cup.

The tournament starts in 24 hours and you are with no visa, no ticket and obviously no hope of being in Russia.

Don’t beat yourself over it.

What is the big deal about Russia anyways? OK, there is big deal; I need to stop hating right now.

Seriously though, while we rue our misses, we need to understand that watching the 2018 World Cup on TV from home is not really bad news.

If you missed South Africa 2010, that remains in history as bad news. Can you remember the excitement leading to that one with vuvuzelas all over the place? Yea SA rocked!

Same cannot be said of 2018 as the world heads to Russia and we can tell this is because there are fears.

So, here are few things about Russia that would have made feel unexcited about being there for the World Cup.

1. Racism and discrimination

The Russian government is trying its best to manage this perception but we all are yet to believe that racism is not a problem in Russia.

Russian neo-Nazi and skinhead groups are violent and have been linked to many murders.

Although the statistics are much better than 10 years ago, attacks on Africans and Asians on city streets are not uncommon.

So, if you are unable to get on the plane to Russia, its not so much a bad thing.

2. Making friends just got riskier

What is the joy of going for such massive international sport fiesta if you will not be free making friends? What a waste, right?

The US government has warned its citizens about Russia, “Never agree to go to a bar or club with someone you have just met on the street.

“Criminals have drugged some travellers at bars, while others have taken strangers back to their lodgings, where they drugged, robbed and/or assaulted them.”

The UK warns its own: “Take care if you are using a dating service. A number of British nationals have been the victims of fraud when doing so.”

The least we can do is to share the warning. 

3. The World Cup may not be drug-free?

We do not know the Russian government to be liberal, so it came really shocking when The Moscow Times reported that football fans will be allowed to bring marijuana and cocaine to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, if they have the proper prescriptions for them.

All they have to do is fill out all the necessary paperwork. Seriously? Paperwork for hard drugs?

As Nigerians, we are not scared of weed but cocaine? That’s a No-no!

Without drugs, football fans are known to be quite unruly, what can happen when a tournament allows hard drugs is better imagined than witnessed.

I hope this is not true and I am happy doing the hoping in my living room.

4. Road safety is poor

According to statistics published by the Directorate for Road Traffic Safety there were over 169,000 road traffic accidents in Russia in 2017, causing over 19,000 deaths and over 215,000 injuries.

The European Health Insurance card (EHIC) isn’t valid in Russia, so travel insurance is essential.

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In the summer months, there is a risk of forest fires that could affect the Moscow region. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke and affect travellers with respiratory ailments.

Tap water is not drinkable throughout the Russian Federation but bottled mineral water is widely available.

These are some of the warnings from Canada and Ireland to their citizens heading to Russia.

Ladies and gentlemen, please sit back, relax and enjoy the World Cup from the comfort of your living room without fear of racism, harassment, tough weather.