The FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 is fast approaching and a special presentation of the tournament took place on Wednesday, 3 February in the GUM department store on Red Square in the heart of Moscow.
The guests that attended the event were treated to a wonderful light show, during which one of the main aspects of the FIFA Confederations Cup was unveiled: the tournament's colourful and unique Official Emblem.
Members of the theatrical group 'Kvartet I' Leonid Barats and Rostislav Khait got the presentation under way in GUM's Demonstration Hall. After unveiling the Official Emblem, the two actors – who are also on the panel deciding the official mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – introduced the competition to the guests. Overall, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 will host 16 matches in Kazan, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi from 17 June to 2 July 2017.
The Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Vitaly Mutko was on hand to assist during the presentation of the FIFA Confederations Cup, along with the CEO of the LOC Alexey Sorokin.
“The FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Emblem reflects the depth of our culture and the character of our country. The firebird symbolises power, speed and wisdom, while the eight points on the emblem represent the eight participating countries,” Vitaly Mutko explained.
The FIFA Confederations Cup trophy was brought on stage by the event's guest of honour Christian Karembeu – winner of the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, as well as of the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000 with France. As a former winner of the tournament, only he had the right to handle the trophy out of everyone present at the event.
“I have full confidence that Russia will host a great tournament in 2017 and showcase its ability to welcome the best nations from each confederation. The teams will be provided with state of the art facilities and hospitality, building up the momentum and excitement for the FIFA World Cup the following year,” Karembeu stated.
Next up, Alexey Sorokin took the stage to explain how Russia will prepare for this star-studded tournament. However, those who had made the trip to GUM were in for one more surprise. Current Russia stars Artem Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov greeted the crowd from a pre-recorded video message in which they also invited their future competitors and supporters to Russia.
“We are delighted to play not only at the World Cup but also at the Confederations Cup,” said Dzyuba. “We will be ready. Now you must be ready too, Russia.” Shatov added: “The Confederations Cup will be an important trial run before the World Cup. Come to the stadiums, get behind us and you will love it for sure!”
One of the recipients of the footballers' message was the illustrious national pianist and huge football fan Denis Matsuev, who is a big supporter of the Russian national team.
“As a fan of 30 years, I will definitely attend Spartak stadium, the home of my favourite club, Spartak Moscow. I have attended many FIFA World Cup tournaments before and also remember Karambeu very well,” said the musician. “The FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA World Cup will bring great atmosphere to our stadiums, and you will really be able to enjoy attending the matches with your family.”
Some of the world's best international teams will be heading to Russia in June 2017 to contest the competition also known as the 'Festival of Champions', including the already-qualified Australia, Chile and Mexico as winners of their respective continental championships. Reigning FIFA World Cup champions Germany are also set to take part, alongside Russia as hosts of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The remaining spots in the tournament, which is being held in the country for the first time, will be filled by the three other continental champions from Oceania, Europe and Africa.