Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM Local Organising Committee (LOC), attended the annual International Football Arena (IFA) conference in Zurich on 7 November, where he briefed delegates on the challenges and opportunities the 2018 FIFA World Cup has in store for Russia and the rest of the world.
"Since Russia was chosen to host the FIFA World Cup, the number of children playing football in our country's sports schools has risen, in some regions, by 30 per cent. That's clear evidence of our country's enthusiasm as it prepares for the tournament," said Sorokin.
"Ahead of 2018, we need to nurture a generation of coaches, as well as specialists in sports administration, sports medicine and marketing. We are ready to make use of every bit of our international experience to ensure that Russia 2018 will be an unforgettable occasion for supporters around the world."
The regions involved in organising and hosting Russia 2018 have been set tight deadlines to build stadiums, modernise their infrastructure and upgrade their transport and hotel facilities. At the same time, preparations for the tournament are triggering rapid development and opening up new markets and opportunities for everyone who wants to be involved in the first ever FIFA World Cup to be held in eastern Europe.
Sorokin also pointed out that, at the LOC's request, FIFA has brought forward the deadline for finalising the list of cities which will be hosting matches during Russia 2018, from March 2013 to October 2012. This will give the host cities more time to prepare for the tournament.