The Latest: Spain arrives in Sochi for World Cup opener

A worker cleans the area in front of Fisht Stadium ahead of the 2018 soccer World Cup in Sochi, Russia, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

MOSCOW (AP) — Some workers in Moscow will mark the start of the World Cup with a day off in a push to ease the Russian capital's notorious traffic jams.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin appealed last week to companies to give their staff time off "so they don't end up in jams and there aren't transport problems." Those going to work are urged to use public transport.

While it's been far from universally accepted, some bosses have agreed to let their staff work from home or take the day off altogether.

Widespread road closures are expected ahead of the Russia-Saudi Arabia kickoff at 6 p.m., the height of what would normally be rush hour.

Russian authorities are reluctant to have the World Cup start against a backdrop of clogged roads, and they're also keen to clear the way for the various visiting dignitaries, mostly from ex-Soviet and Latin American countries.

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Find all of AP's World Cup coverage at www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup .

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