Liputan6.com, Jakarta On September 18 2015, the world was given a ‘virtual’ surprise as Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was busied with mounting work schedule in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, appeared in a TV link- up in Moscow welcoming guests and participants who attended a ceremony held in Red Square marking the commencement of 1000 days countdown to the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup in Russia.
“Russia will be hosting the world cup for the first time ever and now, exactly 1000 days remain before the start of this marvelous event,” President Putin greeted the sea of people that were present during the launching ceremony at Red Square held on Friday last week as cited in Russian News Agency.
This year’s World Cup matches will commence on the 14th of June through to the 15th of July involving the use of dozens facilities in over 33 Russian cities which include: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Nizhny, Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don. Luzhniki arena of Moscow city will be the first facility used for the preliminary FIFA football match on the 14th June 2018 and as many as 45,000 people will be contributing to the successes behind such festive sporting event.
“The selection of Russia as the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will help enhance the popularity of this sport and broaden its geography. I believe that this will enhance interest in football not only here in Russia, but in many of our neighboring countries,” President Putin cheered in excitement.
FIFA has passed a resolution assuring full support for holding the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Sepp Blatter, the president of the world football’s governing body said at a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, as cited in Russia Today on July 25 2015.
The official site of FIFA reported on 18 September 2015 that celebrations were held in other hosting cities as well such as Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Rostov- upon- Don and dozen others where various forms of festivities including ball juggling, flash mob of the football freestyle team, the releasing of 1000 balloons by participating children and friendly football matches staged for three days long. (Akp)