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FIFA Fever in Red Square with the opening of the Football Park

Traveling festival completes its tour of the World Cup game sites with its ultimate stop in Moscow until the tournament’s conclusion

TASS News agency reported Thursday that Red Square has gained a new attraction. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Football Park opened in Moscow’s Red Square, with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from both the national government and FIFA itself.

TASS reports:

The opening ceremony was attended by Russian Deputy Prime Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism Olga Golodets, Local Organizing Committee Chairman Arkady Dvorkovich, Local Organizing Committee Director General Alexei Sorokin, FIFA Chief Commercial Officer Philippe Le Floc’h and FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.

According to the Australian site fourfourtwo.com:

The Football Park, a festival traveling around the Russian cities hosting this summer’s FIFA World Cup, opened in Moscow on Thursday.

Former Spain goalkeeper and 2010 World Cup winner Iker Casillas and FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura took part in the opening ceremony of the Football Park, which will be open for the rest of the tournament.

Those visiting the park will be able to take part in numerous events, such as master classes, autograph sessions with footballing legends, as well as games and other activities. The World Cup trophy will be put on display in the park later in the day.

Moscow is the last city to welcome the Football Park, which has already been held in Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Saransk, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.

And most notably, from FIFA itself:

The traveling park of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will be a warm up for the residents of host cities.

On weekends [starting on] 24 March, a festival will be held at open squares of the 2018 FIFA World Cup cities, where visitors will be able to participate in contests with prizes, compete in trivia about the history of football and world championships, enjoy football attractions, learn more about the upcoming tournament, take photos with the official mascot of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Zabivaka™ the wolf, and talk to legends of world football.

The FIFA World Cup event has brought the world’s attention to the Russian Federation in a very significant way. We have reported on this on our sister site, the Duran, which you can find here. The streets around Moscow are unusually vibrant with the massive influx of tourists from all over the world.

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura stated that she had no doubt that Russia would host one of the best World Cups ever. Samoura noted that millions of fans have come to Russia from all over the world to enjoy the atmosphere of a football festivity, and that she was glad to open the Football Park in Moscow because football could unite people from all over the world.

“The World Cup is travelling across the country. We have already held 20 matches and today a millionth fan will attend a World Cup match in Samara. The football festivity has taken place and this is not only a sports festivity but also a festivity of mutual understanding and friendship. And today’s opening of the Football Park is yet another confirmation of this,” Russian Vice-Premier Golodets said.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The football park is a mobile attraction, and it began its tour of the Russian host cities on March 24 this year. Now that it is in Moscow, it will remain here in Red Square until the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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