On the eve of Sunday’s FIFA Confederations Cup final between Brazil and Spain, its setting, the Estadio Maracana, was immersed for several hours in the atmosphere of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
On 29 June, at the legendary arena in Rio de Janeiro, Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO Alexey Sorokin took members of the media and the global footballing community on a 'Journey of Discovery', courtesy of an interactive presentation about the tournament that, in five years’ time, will be taking place in the largest country in the world. Among the guests at the event were the CEO of Brazil 2014's LOC, Ricardo Trade, Russia coach Fabio Capello and representatives of the media, FIFA and commercial affiliates.
Sorokin told them: “I have heard and read many times that Russia is a mysterious, enigmatic country. Our response is an invitation: come and visit us in 2018 and make up your own minds about Russia!”
Sorokin introduced the tournament’s 11 Host Cities and 12 stadiums. He also spoke about the vision underpinning Russia’s hosting of the event and provided an update on the latest delivery milestones. Two major achievements are the infrastructure programme and the special law on the FIFA World Cup, both of which have been adopted and were signed by the Russian president in June.
“All our work in preparation for Russia 2018 is focused on making the tournament as comfortable and convenient as possible for the fans,” Sorokin said. “So, for example, the law on the 2018 World Cup will allow the Russian government to regulate the rates hotels charge during the World Cup if they are out of step with market rates.
“For the first time in the tournament’s history, we will be providing fans with maximum freedom of movement. Everyone holding a ticket for a Russia 2018 match will have the right to enter Russia without a visa and to travel for free on overland public transport between the tournament’s Host Cities during the 18 hours before and 18 hours after a match. These unprecedented guarantees, which were laid down in the Law on the 2018 World Cup, will help all the tournament’s guests discover their own Russia and get the most out of this majestic festival of football."
The 'Journey of Discovery' brought the curtain down on the Russia 2018 LOC’s two-week stay at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. During that time the LOC took part in the Observer programme, sharing experience with the organisers of other FIFA tournaments.
Russia will host the next FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017. Four cities will be staging the so-called 'Festival of Champions', namely Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.