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"Can you leave the fan zone forever?"

During the semi-final match between France and Belgium, the fans from the FIFA Fan Festival™ applied to the organizers with an unusual proposal

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The queue for entrances to the Konyushennaya Square formed about three hours before the starting whistle of the first semi-final match. Many of those who come to the Festival not for the first time know: in order to take the best places and quickly buy drinks, it is better to come early. At the same time, you can listen to the concert and dance.

- I was here when there was no broadcast, and I really liked it! For a long time I have not had such fun! - Natalia admits. - And will the fan zone be closed after the Championship? It's a pity. Can you leave the fan zone forever? At least for the weekend? I would like to watch our championship here with friends. And if only there were concerts before the match - it would be great!

Natalia’s friends Anton and Vera support her.

- It's fun in the stadium, but it's cooler here, - says Vera. - A real festival, you can walk around the square, get acquainted with different people, do selfie.

Closer to the beginning of the match fans of the teams of Belgium and France appear on the Konyushennaya Square. They pull closer to the main screen of the Festival. Behind their backs the Brazilians in yellow-green wigs and Mexicans in sombrero, which they borrow for the photo to everyone, take pictures with the locals and with each other. They are not so interested in the match, they are just trying to have fun before leaving.

However, among the guests there are those who are sincerely interested in what is happening in the field.

- I'm a fan of Axel Witsel, I like him very much; he is a good player... When he played in FC "Zenit" I went to all the matches. Even sometimes I ran from school when the games were on Saturday, - Larisa says and looks at her companion apologetically. - Come on, Dad, it was so long ago!

Larisa's father Anatoly looks at his daughter severely, but then softens.

- She's good, she brought me here, otherwise I'm all at home, watching football on the couch, and here the atmosphere is similar to the stadium one. I do not cheer for anyone, though I like the French more. However, it would be better if our team played in the semifinals, - says Anatoly.

The family from Stavropol - Dad, Mom, and 2 boys – is also not for the first time at the Festival.

- I often go to St. Petersburg for work, but this time I decided to take my family with me. This is the third time I am here. I was at the match of Brazil with Belgium, then came on Sunday, when there were no matches, listened to the concert. It was good, I danced - says Alexey.

In this semifinal Alexei supports France, but in general, of course, cheers only for the Russian team.

- By the way, our head coach Stanislav Cherchesov once played for our Stavropol FC “Dynamo”, - Alexei recalls.

According to Alexey, St. Petersburg is very different these days. An endless holiday is on the streets and the citizens of St. Petersburg have changed.

- Somehow “softer” became, - tends to pick up words Alexey. - And they smile more.

In the meantime, the French, supported by the male majority of the respondents, go to the FIFA World Cup™ final, and the Belgians will play for the third place in St. Petersburg. The holiday flows over the boundaries of the Konyushennaya Square and French songs are all over Petersburg. A real festival!