FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter as well as Russia’s Minister of Sport and Chairman of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) Vitaly Mutko will open the ceremony. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and LOC CEO Alexey Sorokin will also participate in the event. Guests on the program will include Russian sports icons, football stars and prominent artists.
Each Host City will have a live link to the ceremony, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup host city poster series will be unveiled. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Host Cities announcement is the official start of the preparations for the tournament in Russia, after its selection as Host Country in December 2010, in Zurich.
“All of Russia joins the candidate Host Cities as our nation takes its first steps towards hosting the World Cup in 2018. Each candidate city has worked hard and with great passion to welcome the largest sporting event in the world to Russia for the first time. I can say with pride that whichever host cities are finally selected, we believe that the entire country will win,” Mutko said.
Thirteen cities divided into four clusters compete to host 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia matches: Moscow (Central Cluster), St Petersburg and Kaliningrad (Northern Cluster),Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd (Volga Cluster), Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Krasnodar (Southern Cluster) and Ekaterinburg.