A yet to be identified Nigerian was among five persons who entered Finland illegally with the help of World Cup identity papers, TOPNAIJA.NG can confirm.
The Finnish border guard disclosed this to Reuters on Wednesday, saying upon their arrival, the individuals applied for asylum.
World Cup host Russia provided match ticket holders with visa-free entry.
“We had been prepared for this as we (knew) that one can enter Russia without a visa,” Marko Saareks, head of risk and analysis at Finland’s border guard, was quoted to have said.
“But it was a surprise that it started right at the beginning of the tournament.”
Finland is in the European Union’s Schengen zone, comprising 19 nations whose borders can be crossed without checks.
Sarreks said the Nigerian entered Finland with a fake Brazilian passport on Friday, followed on Sunday by three Moroccan men.
“They had walked perhaps for 12 hours and managed to cross the territorial border,” Ville Mihl, the border guard’s head investigator, reportedly said.
A Chinese man was said to have landed in Helsinki, capital of Finland, on a flight from Russia carrying only World Cup fan identity documents, Finnish border officials said.
Authorities in Finland said the five persons are under investigation.