Embassy of the Russian Federation in the USA
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14 june / 2018

2018 FIFA World Cup

The tournament will accommodate matches at 12 stadiums, whose total capacity is some 579,000 seats, in 11 Russian cities: Moscow, St Petersburg, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Saransk, Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don and Sochi.

Over 2 million fans from all over the world have come to this sports event. Teams from 32 countries will compete for the title of world champion. The tournament’s official mascot is my co-host, Zabivaka the Wolf, and the Telstar 18 official game ball has already visited the International Space Station.

The Organising Committee has reported about the opening of the international police cooperation centre to ensure safety at the tournament. It will comprise 150 police officers from 32 participating countries.

Since most of our guests will stay in Moscow, the city has taken unprecedented measures to provide them with a comfortable stay and, of course, safety. Shuttle buses will service fans on match days. Over 100 large and extra-large buses with special stickers and the tournament logo will operate on 8 routes. Public transit, Aeroexpress and commuter trains will be free for fans. Metro workers and municipal infrastructure staff have taken English classes. Some 1,453 hotels that can accommodate 201,500 people have been categorised; 1.4 million free Moscow guidebooks have been issued. They can be obtained in hotels, airports and railway stations.

A total of 5,700 buses, trams, trolleybuses and metro cars with screens for match broadcasting were purchased for the World Cup. I would like to note that this information is available on the official website of the Organising Committee. So I am talking about them to draw your attention to the committee’s information resources. Please visit the website and get all the information firsthand.

I also would like to say that no less than 8,700 volunteers will assist guests in Moscow, the main host city, which will host 12 matches, including the semi-final and final matches. Guests will be offered some 70 events and 20 themed museum exhibitions to choose from. There will be 32 permanent ambulance centres, 55 ambulance crews and 600 medical staff. A large number of doctors will be assisting fans during the matches.

Over 180 medical offices will be established at the World Cup facilities; 16,500 stewards have been selected and trained to serve fans at 64 tournament matches. In all, 200,000 people underwent additional or further training.

In the host cities, 12 airports have been renovated; Rostov-on-Don has received a new airport. Seven new stadiums and 27 hotels have been built.

Over 17,000 volunteers of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee are working at the tournament; 7 percent of them are foreigners from 112 countries, and 18,000 city volunteers. In all, the committee received 177,000 volunteer applications. Interestingly, the average age of the volunteers is 24 years, while the oldest volunteer in 80 years old.

728 free trains with a total of 445,000 seats will run between the host cities. Roughly, the distance between Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg, the westernmost and the easternmost host cities, is 2,489 kilometres. It is a huge distance, especially by European standards; it unites the European and Asian parts of the continent.

The host cities will have 536 cultural events.

The City Press Centres are open in all host cities. The expected television audience of the tournament is 3 billion people. The matches will be broadcast by 196 TV companies in 212 countries. The television audience of the final match in Moscow on July 15 will exceed half of the planet’s population.

All host cities have unique venues for the FIFA Fan Fest, which will be open not only on match days, but during the entire tournament. Their total capacity is 217,000 people. They have large screens and offer a huge number of services, from live broadcasts of the matches and FIFA partner stands to food and children’s entertainment options. Entry is free and does not require any additional documents.

In conclusion, some economic information. The long-term annual effect of the 2018 World Cup for Russia’s GDP will be 150-210 billion roubles over the next five years.

We hope that your coverage will be objective. We are glad that the myths set loose prior to large international events in Moscow are being dispelled. People can see for themselves how this major international sports event is organised.