Thursday 28 June 2018, 09:12

RELIVE: Russia 2018 group stage press conference

After 15 days and 48 matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, the first rest day saw a press conference with representatives of FIFA and the 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) who provided a wrap-up of the group stage.

Taking place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, FIFA Chief Competitions & Events Officer Colin Smith and LOC CEO Alexey Sorokin discussed operational aspects of the event so far.

You can watch the full live stream of the briefing above.

A few figures from the group stage were presented

  • 122 goals scored (2.5 on average)

  • 2.2 million people attended matches

  • 98% average attendance

  • 16,000 media representatives

  • 130 million fans on and official app

  • 1.6 million Fan IDs

  • 1.8 million airplane passengers

  • 17K LOC volunteers

  • Over 2,700 doping tests (every player at least once)

  • 5 million people enjoyed FIFA Fan Fest

  • 4 venues closed as of last night

A sample of what they said:

Colin Smith, FIFA Chief Competitions & Events Officer

We’re delighted so far, and we have received very positive feedback from all of our stakeholders, although there is a lot of work to be done still… Credit goes to the whole team: the LOC, the cities and the regions for looking after everyone so well… I have seen first-hand the hospitality, the accommodation, the passion, the enthusiasm for hosting the World Cup here. I think it has been fantastic to see all these nationalities grouping together and enjoying themselves… A huge shout-out to all the fans. They have been fantastic, and we know this will continue right through the Final.

Alexey Sorokin, Local Organising Committee CEO

We have showed to the world that we welcome any fans from any country. The atmosphere has been truly hospitable and cordial at every venue and city… There are many stories from real life that show that Russians have really been helping this to be a fantastic show. This hospitality is something we have in our blood. You cannot organise this in an artificial way, you cannot impose this on people… We are happy that Russia made the knockout phase, but we are not that surprised because they have been preparing for that for many months… The purpose of FAN ID is make sure that the person who enters the stadium is not involved in any criminal or terrorist activity or banned from attending a stadium.