Full steam ahead in preparation for the FIFA Confederations Cup

A few hours before the final FIFA Confederations Cup match schedule is known at the Kazan Tennis Academy, FIFA, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Host Country provided an update on the preparations for the Tournament of Champions taking place from 17 June to 2 July next year. During the media briefing held at the same venue as the Official Draw, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Vitaly Mutko, FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO, Alexey Sorokin, went through details of some of the main operational aspects of the event, such as infrastructure, security, ticketing, and volunteering.

FIFA.com brings you the main quotes of the press conference.

**Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Vitaly Mutko **I would like to welcome you to the wonderful city of Kazan. We did not have any doubts where to hold the FIFA Confederations Cup draw as Kazan is a very hospitable city with more than 1,000 years of history. It's a city that has been growing and evolving very fast recently and the capital of Tatarstan has truly become a major sports city in Russia and has held a lot of big sports events over the last few years.

For today, two stadiums are fully operational and 100 per cent ready – it is the Spartak Stadium in Moscow and the Kazan Arena which FIFA President Gianni Infantino and myself visited today.

Fisht Stadium in Sochi will be commissioned in November and we plan to arrange a friendly match there in March involving the Russian national football team. Saint Petersburg Stadium will be commissioned in December and hopefully in March or April we will arrange a test event there as well. Apart from that, 12 venue specific training sites will be used during the tournament. This infrastructure is to be handed over to the youth sports academies afterwards and this is the legacy of the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Part of our obligations as Host Country was visa-free entrance to Russia during the tournament for all football supporters who bought tickets. In this regard, to simplify all the procedures and to provide additional security guarantees, we plan to implement FAN ID cards for each supporter planning to visit the stadium. The FAN ID portal was launched simultaneously with the FIFA Confederations Cup tickets Visa pre-sale. There's a direct link on FIFA.com that leads to the dedicated portal with a detailed explanation of all the procedures on application process. FAN IDs are to be delivered via post worldwide, but the electronic confirmation letter would also allow people to enter Russia. We will be communicating information on FAN ID as much as possible to all the parties involved: supporters, teams and commercial affiliates. Apart from that, we plan to implement additional services into the FAN ID card. For example, free ground transportation within the cities.

**FIFA President Gianni Infantino **I am happy and pleased being here in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, a city and region which has incredible cultural and historical heritage, a city where different cultures and religions are living peacefully side by side. These are things which are not really known to the world and football can also can make these elements and facts known to the world. That’s why I am happy to be here in Kazan.

Stadiums in Russia are progressing very well, will be ready in time; perfect status. I know that there are challenges in Saint Petersburg, but the stadium will be ready on time – President Putin assured me.

Also I would like to remind you that the general phase of ticketing starts on 1 December and you will be able to buy tickets to all 16 matches. They will be available on FIFA.com/tickets.

The FIFA World Cup™ in Russia will the first where we officially will use Video Assistant Referees, subject to be approved by IFAB in March 2018. The World Cup is the biggest competition and we can help referees not to make mistakes. We are now making tests and will test the system during the Confederations Cup.

**Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO, Alexey Sorokin **We have been preparing the FIFA Confederations Cup Official Draw for a year. In general, we are deep in the operational phase, after the Confederations Cup Draw we actively will start to promote the tournament. We are now working hard on preparations of it, this is our focus currently.

Another aspect I would like to touch on is the volunteers programme, which already became the biggest in Russia's volunteer movement history. On Monday we received our 150,000th application and today we already overcame the level of 153,000 applications. I would like also to add that during the Confederations Cup, around 5,500 volunteers will be used and also a reserve of 40 per cent prepared. We are happy that the tournament is so popular.