On 12 March, the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM Local Organising Committee (2018 Russia LOC) hosted a meeting in Moscow with a delegation of British companies that specialise in planning major international sports events.
The CEO of the 2018 Russia LOC, Alexey Sorokin, delivered a presentation on the tournament concept, as well as talking about the opportunities open to foreign companies wishing to be involved in the organisation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“Our goal is to organise the best tournament in FIFA’s history. We can achieve this in part by drawing on foreign experience of how to design and build stadia, make commercial use of arenas, plan and stage events, ensure security at sports facilities and modernise transport infrastructure and information technology. This is a clear example of mutually beneficial cooperation. Foreign companies will be able to extend the geographical reach of their business, while Russia will benefit from the rich legacy of the World Cup, in the form of state-of-the-art infrastructure which the public will be able to use for many years to come,” the CEO of the 2018 Russia LOC stressed.
The head of the Commercial Department at the British Embassy in Moscow, Damion Potter, who led the delegation, said the opportunity to be involved in preparations for Russia’s staging of the FIFA World Cup was an attractive one for British companies.
"When FIFA announced its decision on the host nation for the 2018 World Cup in December 2010, I had mixed feelings. As an Englishman I was disappointed that the World Cup would not come to my country; on the other hand, as head of the British Embassy Commercial Department, I was very happy about the world's biggest sports event taking place in Russia, and the opportunities it would bring.
Britain has great football traditions and experience in sports event management – like the English Premier League or the 2012 London Olympic Games. Many British companies are already working for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. We hope, by working with Russian partners, to be involved in a project of the magnitude of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia," Mr Potter said.
As part of its visit to Russia, the British delegation will also be holding a series of other meetings and visiting the candidate host cities hoping to host matches in 2018 in order to forge links with Russian partners.
This meeting was already the second to take place this year as part of collaboration between the 2018 Russia LOC and the British Embassy. In February, a Russian delegation paid a working visit to London and Manchester to study the British experience of ensuring security for football matches at major sports facilities. Also involved in the visit were representatives of the Russian Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy, the Russian Premier League, the Russian Supporters Association and two of Moscow’s football clubs, Spartak and Dinamo.