Boot has met ball in the opening match of the Russian football world cup.

As host nation beat the Saudi team 5-0 in Moscow, locals and fans across the world have been mingling off the pitch as well.

Football fever is in the air but both Russian and New Zealand governments have issued advice to would-be revellers. The message on both sides is to err on the side of caution during the sports festival.

Though the All Whites haven't qualified for this year's tournament, 1032 Kiwi fans have registered as ticket holders. While this number of New Zealand super soccer-fans represents a mere 80th of the capacity of Moscow's main Luzhniki Stadium, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued a statement for those attending the 2018 Fifa World cup.

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"New Zealand football fans travelling to Russia to attend matches should be well prepared and have official tickets and fan IDs. These documents need to be kept safely with you at all times, along with your passport," said the Ministry in a statement on Safetravel.govt.nz.

The statement also warned of "extreme risk" in certain parts of the country, including "Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Karbardino-Balkaria and Karachai-Cherkessia, Republic of North Ossetia and the south-east parts of Stavropol Krai in the North Caucasian Federal District".

Most notably the Ministry advised against travel "within 10 kilometres of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts" where there is still conflict following the Russian invasion in 2014.

This might be difficult for some fans as one of the host city of Rostov-on-Don is just over 50km from the Ukrainian border.

I'm not a nationalist: Duma member Tamara Pletnyova has urged Russian women not to sleep with soccer fans. Photo / Anton Novoderezhkin, TASS, via Getty
I'm not a nationalist: Duma member Tamara Pletnyova has urged Russian women not to sleep with soccer fans. Photo / Anton Novoderezhkin, TASS, via Getty

Meanwhile within Russia, female football fans have also been issued with some stern advice.

Senior Russian lawmaker and Communist Party member, Tamara Pletnyova advised Russian women to abstain from sleeping with tourists.

"Will there be the girls that will meet and become pregnant? Maybe yes, maybe no, I hope. These children suffer and have suffered, even since Soviet times," said Pletnyova, speaking on the radio station Govorit Moskva.

Warning against a possible spike in single mothers, she said "We should give birth to our own children. I'm not a nationalist, but nonetheless. I know that the children suffer".

Travel insurers Allianz Partners have issued their own advice for Kiwi fans travelling to Russia.

They advise tourists to register details with Safetravel.govt.nz to let the Ministry of Foreign Affairs know your whereabouts while overseas.

Tourists should hold on extra tight to their passport. This seemingly common sense piece of advice has extra poignancy for those planning to watch the games.

"Losing your passport will affect your ability to use your match ticket and FAN ID as all the documents are linked." You will not be able to watch matches without all three. Travellers should make sure they have copies of all three documents.

On the subject of identification Allianz also warns against criminals posing as Russian law enforcement.

"Ask to see identification before handing over your documentation to anyone, as there have been reports of travellers being robbed by individuals posing as officers."

When in Russia

Speed limit

The speed limit is generally 60 km/h in towns and cities however this raises to 110-130 km/h for motorways and high-speed roads.

Emergency numbers

Consular phone for New Zealand citizens +7 903 769 0256
Russian emergency telephone numbers:

  • 112, 101 - telephone numbers of all emergency services
  • 101 - Firefighters
  • 102 - Police
  • 103 - Emergency medical care