18 июня / 2018

Press release on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the FIFA World Cup 2018 Opening Ceremony at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on June 14, as well as the tournament’s opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. “Wherever we may live, whatever traditions we may follow, love of football unites us into one team. All of us share love of this spectacular, bright and uncompromising game. This explains why all members of this team understand and feel each other so well", he said. The President congratulated the large, multi-ethnic and harmonious world football family upon the beginning of the main global tournament.

Foreign leaders and top officials also participated at the ceremony, including the presidents of Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Panama, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, South Ossetia, Rwanda, the president-elect of Paraguay, the prime ministers of Armenia and Lebanon, the Saudi crown prince and the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea.

UK singer Robbie Williams, Russian opera soprano Aida Garifullina and two-times FIFA World Cup champion Ronaldo took part in the opening ceremony of the upcoming World Cup in Russia as well.

The FIFA World Cup, the first-ever hosted by Russia, will be held between June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don at twelve newly built and reconstructed stadiums.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay make up Group A, while Group B includes Portugal, Spain, Iran and Morocco. Group C consists of France, Australia, Peru and Denmark, while Group D is Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. Group E is composed of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Group F has Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea, while Group G encompasses Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England. Finally, Group H has Poland, Colombia, Senegal and Japan.

Russia is a fascinating and friendly country, and the World Cup proves a welcome window into the one of   the biggest nation on the planet. Preparation work for this

significant event won recognition from the FIFA. Russia is absolutely ready to host the 2018 World Cup in June and July, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said recently as the country completed final preparations to stage the soccer tournament.

More than 1.5 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Russia during the 2018

FIFA World Cup. The hotels and quality standards comply with FIFA strict requirements.

More than 700 trains with a total capacity of almost 450,000 seats have been put into service. As of today, more than 86 percent of the seats in free of charge trains operating during the group stage in the first two weeks of the World Cup have already been booked, and 64 percent have been booked in trains operating during the knockout stage.

Fans are advised to purchase match tickets and have a valid Fan ID in order to be able to reserve a seat free of charge. The Russian authorities are involved in preventing ticket touting by all means.

As far as security for the World Cup is concerned, FIFA has entire trust in the security arrangements and comprehensive security concept developed by the Russian authorities and the National Organising Committee. As demonstrated during the FIFA Confederations Cup last year, our country has extensive experience to put security measures in place to meet specific needs of such major sporting events.

Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana