FIFA's new Director of Communications and Public Affairs Walter De Gregorio visited Moscow on December 8 and 9 to meet heads and editors of leading Russian mass media outlets.
“I became FIFA’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs two months ago, and it’s only natural that I wanted to meet the key players in the Russian media market in person, to establish contacts, and to discuss cooperation in covering Russia’s preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Journalists should feel that FIFA is working in close contact with the 2018 Russia Local Organising Committee and that at any moment they can get any information from both the LOC and FIFA,” Walter De Gregorio said on the purpose of his visit.
At his meetings with Russian media representatives the editors wanted to learn what would be the accreditation quota for media representing the host country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Walter De Gregorio pointed out that it would be significant and expressed confidence that the Russian media would make excellent use of this privilege to provide excellent coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“From the meetings I had during my visit I see Russian journalists are ready to work at the 2018 FIFA World Cup tomorrow. They are very well informed and enthusiastic about Russia hosting such a tournament. Russia is indeed a sports-loving nation. At one of the news agencies they showed me a printout of the football news for just one week, and it was an impressive wad of paper. There is no doubt about the interest to the World Cup growing in the country as the tournament approaches,” FIFA’s Director of Communications said.
“FIFA and the media have the same goal – to experience a fantastic 2018 FIFA World Cup, although we’re coming at it from different directions. I believe that keeping in constant contact will help us avoid any misunderstandings or distorted information from appearing in the news. For example, despite recent reports in a number of European and Russian publications, FIFA is not conducting any investigation into the Russian bid for the 2018 World Cup. Russia delivered a very good bid and we are confident that Russia will host a wonderful World Cup. I have reiterated our position to the Russian media during the visit,” Walter De Gregorio pointed out.
FIFA’s Director of Communications also said that he would visit Russia regularly, starting next year, in order to establish and maintain close working contacts between FIFA and the Russian media.