Thursday 18 May 2017, 10:00

Confederations Cup Opening Ceremony to reveal Russia's uniqueness

  • Russia 2017's Opening Match between hosts and New Zealand on 17 June

  • Opening Ceremony set to begin at around 16.00 local time

  • Ceremony will showcase Russia's culture and the four host cities

There is less than one month to go until Russia face New Zealand in the Opening Match of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. But before a ball is kicked across its surface on 17 June, Igor Stravinsky’s "The Firebird" will sound across the stadium, signalling the beginning of the quest to be crowned winner of the Tournament of Champions.

The Opening Ceremony of the FIFA Confederations Cup will take place around two hours before kick-off (which is at 18.00 local time) and will last about 20 minutes. The colourful presentation will tell viewers about Russia’s traditions, history, culture and nature, as well as more specifically about the four cities hosting the tournament: Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi and Moscow.

"This is a very special moment for Russia and we are glad that we can show football fans a glimpse of our culture before the football action takes the stage," said the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Russia 2018 CEO Alexey Sorokin.

"Differently from what the Russian audience saw in the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, the highlight of the evening is the opening match. We will not be able to use heavy structures or pyrotechnic for example, but with a lot of creativity we are positive that Russian fans will feel proud while international spectators will wish to discover some of the country’s cultural treasures that will be presented during the show."

More than 1,500 performers will be involved in the opening ceremony, which will also feature colourful visual elements and the Russia 2018 Official Mascot, the charming wolf Zabivaka. The entertainment team of Russian television station Channel One will be responsible for the artistic concept of the ceremony, which will begin with a countdown timer to the kick-off of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017.

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