Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend on July 13 the final match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where he will also receive the baton of the hosting nations for the next global football championship to be held in Russia in 2018, a presidential aide said on Friday.
“The president will attend the final match on July 13,” Yuri Ushakov said. “The visit owes to Russia’s organization of the next World Cup.”
Ushakov added that following the final match of the 2014 World Cup, running on June 12-July 13, a special ceremony would be held to pass on the relay of the hosting nations to Russia.
Sepp Blatter, the president of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), earlier stated that he was waiting for President Putin in Brazil to pass him over the baton of the World Cup’s nation and that he also intended to pay a visit to Russia in September to monitor the preparation work for the championship in 2018.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over three years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Russian squad launched practice for World Cup clash with Belgium.
Following an official ceremony held in September 2012 and attended by Blatter, Russia eventually selected 11 out of the earlier proposed 13 cities, excluding Krasnodar and Yaroslavl. The final list of the 2018 World Cup host cities includes Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
Being rumored to be the highest paid national coach in the world, Italian phenomenon Fabio Capello managed to help the Russian national team to qualify for the current World Cup in Brazil. He celebrated his 68th birthday during the Russia vs. South Korea match on Tuesday, when the game ended with 1-1 draw.
Capello’s squad will next face Russia’s Group H old-time rivals Belgium, which on Tuesday defeated Algeria 2-1 at the Belo Horizonte Stadium. Russia’s game against Algeria is scheduled for June 26.
On the eve of the Russian team’s match against South Korea, the Russian state-run pollster WCIOM provided data showing that 25% of Russians believed that the country’s national football team would battle through to the final match of the 2014 World Cup. 7% said the team would fail to clear the group stage.