Five people used their World Cup IDs to enter Finland and then request asylum, the Finnish border said on Wednesday.
Match ticket holders for this year’s World Cup have permission to enter Russia without a visa. From there, they can travel across the country’s land border, which is shared with Finland.
Finland is in the European Union’s Schengen zone, so it does not require passport checks while moving across borders.
Those individuals who have requested Finnish asylum are Nigerian, Moroccan and Chinese nationals. Finnish border guard’s head of security and risk analysis, Marko Saareks told Reuters that the Nigerian individual was in possession of a falsified Brazilian passport on Friday. In addition, officials will allow three Moroccan men into the country.
Reuters reports that is currently looking into each immigration case for criminal offenses.
The asylum traveled for the possibility of refuge. “They had walked 12 hours and managed to cross the territorial border,” said the border guard’s head investigator, Ville Mihl.
Police report that there are more pursuits by individuals attempting to receive refuge in Europe using their World Cup fan identity papers. Ten individuals from African and Asian countries did not obtain entry into Finland or Norway. Meanwhile, there will be a trial for two Moroccans residing in Murmansk.
In an unrelated event, the Belarusian border guard’s press secretary, Anton Bychkovsky, reports that four Moroccans yielding World Cup documents were halted from entering Poland on Friday.
“We had been prepared for this as we (knew) that one can enter Russia without a visa. But it was a surprise that it started right at the beginning of the tournament,” said Saareks.
Anti-immigrant and migrant ideologies have increased since 2015, the start of the global refugee crisis, which is the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II. Approximately 1.26 million individuals applied for asylum that year. Finland saw an 822 percent increase in immigration. In 2016, 27274 citizens moved the Scandinavian nation.
With the influx of foreign citizens, a rise in right-winged groups has gained more prominence. Most notably The Nordic Resistance Movement (PVL) neo-Nazi organization, which is notorious for spreading hate speech and inciting violence against ethnic groups. As a result, a court is in the process of banning the group.