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MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, to be held this year in four cities across Russia, will help to develop the national tourism sector and will also improve the country’s reputation, a senior Russian official in charge of tourism issues told TASS on Tuesday.
"We believe that such large-scale events have an exclusively positive impact on the tourism sector and the image of our country," Oleg Safonov, the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism), said in an interview with TASS.
"I would like to say that tourism is not only about money and economy but it is also about the acquaintance with our country," Safonov said. "The financial issues are definitely important but it is also important to position the reputation of Russia."
"We will do everything possible to make people, who arrive in Russia, to feel comfortable in our country," Safonov added.
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.
Seven nations have already qualified for the 2017 Confederations Cup and they are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup winners Portugal and OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup winners New Zealand. The remaining eighth nation will be determined following the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football tournaments after the country clinched the bid, following the final vote at the FIFA Executive Committee in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bids from England, Portugal and Spain, in addition to a joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital of Moscow.