The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Local Organising Committee (LOC) is staging an exhibition about Russia 2018 at the G20 summit, which is taking place in St Petersburg on 5-6 September. The summit traditionally brings together heads of state from the world's largest economies, and more than 2,700 journalists have travelled to St Petersburg from around the globe to cover the event.
As part of the exhibition, the LOC has unveiled a new interactive presentation showcasing the history of Russian football. The presentation features rare facts and photographs that tell the story of the development of the game in the 2018 FIFA World Cup's host country, starting back in the 1880s.
It is highly symbolic that it is in St Petersburg that the presentation has been put on display for the first time. The city on the Neva is regarded as the cradle of Russian football. It was in St Petersburg, along with Moscow, that the first football clubs and societies were set up, and it was here, on 24 October 1897, that the first official football match in Russia took place, between the Saint Petersburg Sports Lovers Club and the Vasileostrovsky Football Society. In addition, the local football league, which was founded in 1901, is considered to be one of the country's oldest football tournaments.
Journalists and summit delegates will also have the chance to study the history of the FIFA World Cup, thanks to an interactive presentation and an exhibit featuring official tournament match balls.
St Petersburg will be the host city for the first official Russia 2018 event, the draw for the tournament's qualifying rounds, scheduled for 24 or 25 July 2015. In 2017, Russia's northern capital will host FIFA Confederations Cup matches, and in 2018 the city will host matches at the FIFA World Cup, including one of the semi-finals.