Tuesday 05 July 2016, 12:57

Russia expecting “Tournament of champions. Dream of fans”

Preparations for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 was one of the main topics up for discussion at the ninth meeting of the Russia 2018 LOC Management Board with FIFA participation, which took place in Moscow on 5 July.

The tournament, scheduled to take place in four Russian cities from 17 June to 2 July 2017, is continuing to set out its defining characteristics.

After the unveiling of the Confederations Cup emblem on 3 February, as part of the celebrations marking 500 days to the start of the tournament, the event has now received its own unique tagline. “Tournament of champions. Dream of fans” perfectly sums up the essence of this superb footballing festival, which will attract all dedicated followers of the most popular sport in the world to Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi next summer.

The LOC Management Board meeting in Moscow was the first for the new FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, who was appointed to this role during the annual FIFA Congress held in Mexico City in May 2016. The Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee was represented at the meeting by its Chairman and Russian Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko.

Besides deciding the FIFA Confederations Cup tagline, the board members discussed preparations for the tournament draw, which will take place on 26 November in Kazan.

The seventh of eight participants in the draw and the tournament itself will be known by the end of this week, with the newly-crowned Euro 2016 champions joining host country Russia, world champions Germany and the winners of four other continental championships: Chile, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. Should Germany win the Euro 2016 final match on Sunday, the runners-up will play the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017.

Work on the Russian venues hosting the Confederations Cup is also going full steam ahead. The Spartak Stadium in Moscow and the Kazan Arena – home to the biggest team in Tatarstan, Rubin Kazan – are getting ready for the start of the new Russian Premier League season, while the finishing touches are being applied to the modification of the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. By autumn, the arena will already have opened its doors for football matches. The main Confederations Cup venue, the Saint Petersburg Stadium, will be ready by the end of 2016.

In September, FIFA and LOC experts will assess progress on all tournament arenas as part of their fourth routine operational stadium visit.

The conclusions of the Observer Programme at UEFA EURO 2016 in France, where LOC experts got actively involved, was also on the agenda. The lessons picked up from the European Championship that draws to a close this weekend will be taken into account during the build-up to the upcoming tournaments in Russia.

The results of the first month of the Russia 2018 volunteer campaign, which started on 1 June, were also examined during the meeting. Both sides acknowledged the pro-activeness with which Russian and international hopefuls have begun to hand in their applications to be volunteers at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

The main outcome of the meeting was the formal ratification of the ticket prices for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 which were presented at the post meeting press conference. You can find out more about ticket categories and prices for both tournaments here.

During her first ever visit to Russia Ms Samoura - together with her deputies Marco Villiger and Zvonimir Boban - took the opportunity to visit one of the main venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, following a meeting with the LOC.