FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 2018 FIFA Russia World Cup™ have held a seminar for the Russia 2018 host cities to discuss staging an International FIFA Fan Fest™ during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
The first International FIFA Fan Fest took place during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, where, in addition to FIFA Fan Fests in each of the host cities in South Africa, six international cities participated in the event. Over the course of a month, these six major cities - Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Mexico City and Sydney – joined the hosts in screening tournament matches in their main squares. Now, as the host country for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia has the opportunity to hold a FIFA Fan Fest in 2014.
During the seminar, experts from FIFA briefed representatives of the host cities on the key aspects involved in preparing for and holding a FIFA Fan Fest. These events normally take place at a major meeting-place in a city centre and keep supporters captivated. Organisers are asked to provide all the facilities required to watch FIFA World Cup matches live, on a big screen and in comfort. Entry into the FIFA Fan Fest is free of charge for the general public.
"We're confident that the interest for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil will be significant among the Russian people, particularly given that our own country is the next host," said the Russia 2018 LOC CEO, Alexey Sorokin. "Russian fans who are unable to visit Brazil next summer will have a chance to celebrate the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the international FIFA Fan Fests in the Russian Host Cities. Now the LOC and especially the host cities have to evaluate their resources to organise the fan zones during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and make a decision."
“The possibility of a FIFA Fan Fest in Russia in 2014 is a very exciting concept" said FIFA's Head of Strategy and Brand Management Ralph Straus. "It would give the Host Cities the chance to provide Russian football fans with an insight into the amazing FIFA World Cup experience ahead of 2018. We are looking forward to developing discussions with the Host Cities and seeing whether they are interested in exploring this opportunity.”
At present, all 11 of the host cities for Russia 2018 are exploring the possibility of taking part in the FIFA Fan Fest in 2014. "We'd like to hold a Fan Fest," said the deputy prime minister of the region of Mordovia, Alexey Merkushkin. "Our expectation is that there'd be lots of football fans who would come to the Fan Fest in 2014, not only from our city and our region but also from neighbouring regions. This could be a major event for Mordovia. It'll be summer, the weather will be great - what more do you need for a celebration of top-level football?"
"We want to use the Fan Fest in 2014 to involve the people of the region in preparations for the World Cup,” said Samara’s construction minister, Aleksey Grishin. Samara has lots of fervent and genuine football supporters, so they would definitely be really interested in our organising fan zones in 2014. We'll have another discussion about this with the people in charge of the region and then take a final decision," he added.
The host cities will decide by the end of the year whether to host FIFA Fan Fests during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.