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MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko launched on Wednesday an official campaign for the design of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in 11 different cities across Russia.
The launch of the campaign was announced at a special news conference in the Russian capital of Moscow attended by various football officials, including Alexey Sorokin, the CEO of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2018.
Sorokin earlier told TASS that the mascot of the much anticipated global football championship in Russia will be unveiled in the second half of 2016.
Mascot’s selection process has been divided into three stages. The first stage, which was launched today, will be held on talisman.fifa.com website. Anyone can leave on the website ideas on a new mascot, which may be an animate or inanimate one, mascot’s name and legend. One can also vote for any of the proposed variants and the target audience of the first stage is made up of football fans between the age of 8 and 16.
Based on the results of the first stage a number of variants for the mascot will be selected and then students of Russian higher schools of arts will be tasked with the graphical design of the mascot using the selected ideas and descriptions. The second stage will be held between September and November this year.
A special jury will select several graphical designs following the second stage and the following stage will be held on one of the national television channels, where Russians will be voting for the proposed variants of the 2018 World Cup mascots.
Last October Russia revealed the first part of its brand identity for the 2018 FIFA World Cup unveiling the Official Emblem at a solemn ceremony with the assistance from the International Space Station (ISS) crew and supplemented by the light projection of the emblem on the historic Bolshoi Theater in downtown of the Russian capital.
According to the authors of the unveiled emblem, "the shape of the Official Emblem of the 2018 FIFA World Cup takes on the universally-recognizable outline of the FIFA World Cup Official Trophy, while the bold use of red, gold, black and blue in the Emblem’s color palette was inspired by centuries-old techniques seen in world-renowned Russian art dating back to the earliest Icon paintings."
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over four 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.
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.