SAMARA, April 19. /TASS/. Football fans from over 30 countries are expected to come to the Russian city of Samara to watch matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a local official told TASS on Thursday.
"We can already list the countries, from which we are expecting the guests," Mikhail Maltsev, the acting head of the Samara Region’s Tourism Department, said in an interview with TASS. "The list of the countries is not linked to national teams, which will be playing in Samara."
"We are expecting football fans from the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, China, Japan, Australia - from over 30 countries in total," he said.
Maltsev said that the data about the foreign guests coming to Samara was obtained based on the information about accommodation in hotels and purchased tickets for matches of the world football championship.
The stadium in the city of Samara, which was founded in 1586 and has a current population of 1.13 million, boasts a 45,000-seat capacity. Samara Arena is scheduled to host four group stage games, a match of the Round of 16 stage and one of the quarterfinals.
The group stage matches to be played in Samara are: Costa Rica-Serbia on June 17, Denmark-Australia on June 21, Uruguay-Russia on June 25 and Senegal-Colombia on June 28.
Samara is a major transport hub thanks to its international airport, major railway station and busy river port. During the World War II, Samara, formerly known as Kuibyshev, was intended to become the second capital of the Soviet Union as all government departments and diplomatic corps were evacuated there from Moscow.
Places of interest for visitors include the massive 37-meter deep Stalin’s bunker and the beautiful nature preserve, Zhigulevskie Hills, on the Volga River. An iconic landmark of Samara is a 68-meter, 20-ton monument of the Soyuz carrier rocket, built to commemorate Yury Gagarin’s space flight.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 57 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.
Russia 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 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.