The official emblem of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been unveiled by the cosmonauts at the International Space Station. The logo was then projected onto the iconic Bolshoi Theater building in the heart of Russian capital, Moscow.
The ceremony was broadcast live during the popular Evening Urgant television talk show, which was attended by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Italian football great Fabio Cannavaro and Russia's sports minister, Vitaly Mutko.
Blatter, who saw the logo before the show, said that he liked it very much as it reflected the heart and soul of Russia as well the country’s cultural traditions, TASS news agency reports.
In his earlier interview with FIFA’s official website, Mutko, said that winning the right to host the FIFA World Cup was a dream come true for millions of Russians.
To creatively capture the essence of this remarkable historic moment inspiration was drawn from both Russia's rich artistic tradition and its history of bold achievement and innovation, he said. I hope that fans around the world will appreciate and love the Russia 2018 emblem.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Blatter and Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, which is currently under reconstruction, to be able to host the World Cup final match in just under four years, on July 8, 2018.
The FIFA president said that the organizers can be proud of what they were doing by preserving the historical look of the stadium and simultaneously constructing a modern arena.
Russia will launch a special information portal to monitor all stages of the World Cup preparations, Putin said Tuesday at a meeting of the supervisory board of the Russia-2018 Organizing Committee.
The website will be “similar to one that gained a good reputation in the Sochi Olympics, the Russian president said.
He recalled Russia's experience of hosting major sporting events such as the 2014 Olympic Games, the Summer Universiade in Kazan in 2013 and a number of global and continental championships.
“All useful groundwork, ideas, best practices should be used in full during the preparation for the 2018 World Cup. This concerns logistics, involvement of volunteers, ticket programs, reception of athletes and guests,” Putin said.
According to the president, over 664 billion rubles ($15.6 billion), half of which are federal budget funds, are to be allocated for the World Cup project through 2018. First of all, the funds will be used for development of the transport, energy and information infrastructure, as well as modernization of healthcare facilities, in the 11 host cities.
The World Cup 2018 matches are to take place in Moscow, which will provide two arenas, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The World Cup action in Russia will last for over a month – from June 8 till July 8, 2014. In 2010, Russia beat England and two joint bids, one from Portugal and Spain and the other from Belgium and the Netherlands, to host the high-profile event.