As part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Preliminary Draw activities, Official FIFA Licensee, The Federal State Unitary Enterprise Marka Publishing and Trading Center, presented the first philatelic items that have been created to celebrate the tournament.

Conducted after the press conference following the meeting of the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup on Friday 24 July at the National Congress Palace in St Petersburg, Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General and Vitaly Mutko, Chairman of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee and Russian Sports Minister were joined by Oleg Dukhovnitskiy, Head of the Federal Communications Agency, to launch the products with a special ceremony.

During the event, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke said; “The Philatelic Programme has become an important aspect of FIFA’s legacy after the FIFA Centennial Philatelic Programme was created in 2004 to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of our Federation. Since then we have developed exclusive programmes for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments and I am thrilled we will continue this for Russia 2018.”

The FIFA Philatelic Programme brings football fans together with the world of philately, and offers a highly accessible option to anyone wanting a piece of official FIFA World Cup memorabilia. Today’s announcement was only an initial step in the Global Philatelic Programme, which will continue to be developed as the build-up to the tournament progresses.

"Today we're launching a Philatelic Programme focusing on the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a historic and extremely important event that our country will be hosting for the very first time,” commented Vitaly Mutko, Chairman of the Russia 2018 LOC. “The programme will give us the opportunity to attract additional attention to Russia's hosting of the World Cup, whilst at the same time presenting the broadest and most complete collection of postage stamps to anyone who has even so much as a passing interest in philately."

In preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, FSUE PTC Marka has developed a philatelic programme that will run from now until the start of the tournament and will include more than 120 types of philatelic products in the full collection – including postage stamps, souvenir sheets, artistic stamped envelopes and postcards as well as various souvenir sets and booklets.

Head of the Federal Communications Agency, Oleg Dukhovnitskiy also stated; "The Federal Communications Agency and the Marka publishing centre have been entrusted with a great honour and responsibility, the mission of delivering the Russian 2018 FIFA World Cup Philatelic Programme. The postage stamps, envelopes and other products we issue will allow us to demonstrate the beauty and breadth of Russia, as well as depicting the highlights of the tournament for everyone around the world."

Friday’s announcement included the presentation of two philatelic items – an artistic envelope and a postcard – followed by the ceremony of three artistic envelopes being stamped by the FIFA Secretary General, Minister Mutko and Mr Dukhovnitskiy.